|The 2005 Waveland Chronicles|
Thursday, September 29, 2005
But that doesn't mean the end of ballhawk.com. I will continue my efforts at chronicling the past, keeping tabs on the present, and perhaps an eye or two on the future. Coming right up is the bleacher expan$ion project, scheduled to start as soon as today - guess this is probably one time the Tribune Co is pleased there's no October baseball at Wrigley.
Needless to say, the ballhawks and anyone who loves the bleachers and tradition are not pleased with the prospects of this expan$ion project. But short of some unemployed radical tree-huggers chaining themselves to the wall in the next few days, it looks like this one will move ahead. Seeing as how I live in the neighborhood, I will certainly make frequent visits to take pictures and notes and see if I can turn that into another blog, or maybe just a page or two off the main site. Stay tuned.
Final 2005 Season Totals for balls hit out of Wrigley are below. I've been keeping track for a few years now, so I'm going to try and pull some summary stats together and post somewhere on the site.
Season Totals: BP-756 [W-554,S-202], Roof-40 [A-32,C-8], Foul-6 [W-4,S-2], HR-40 [W-25,S-15]
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Then again, maybe not. Bleacher expansion project will severely limit the number of baseballs that make it out of Wrigley next year. But that's a rant for another day. For now, let me just say that the honor of hitting the last home-run onto the street for 2005 goes to....
Yep, Jose Macias. All 5'8", 180 lbs of him. Wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't been there. Actually I was inside the park, saying good-bye to some friends (and the bleachers as we know them), so I never had a chance at the ball. Wouldn't have mattered if I'd been outside though, as it was a line drive, over the short fence and right at Andy. He just ran in and smothered it up. All he could say afterwards was "Jose Macias???".
Sept 28 : BP-17 [W-13,S-4], Roof-1 [A-1,C-0], Foul-0, HR-1 [W-1,S-0]
Sunday, July 31, 2005
As for today's game - I can sum it up in one word. Moe.
Luis Gonzalez blasted one out onto Sheffield in the 4th inning, right into Moe's waiting glove. All he had to do is take two steps forward and wait for the ball to come to him. One inning later, Chris Snyder hit a rope over the family section in left field - again, right into Moe's waiting glove. At least he had to run a bit for this one. With me right behind him, just in case...
The Snyder one was especially noteworthy as it not only was a grand slam, but it was Moe's fifth career grand slam, lifting him into a tie with Rich for most ever by a ballhawk. Congratulations Moe!
Sunday, July 31 : BP-17 [W-8,S-9], Roof-0, Foul-1 [W-0,S-1], HR-2 [W-1,S-1]
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Today's game started at 1:20 pm, and at 1:45 pm, Colorado's JD Closser cracked a 2-run homer in the top of the second that landed out on Sheffield.
Top of the fifth, Preston Wilson whacked one onto Waveland for his third homer in three days. A quick glance at the center field scoreboard clock told me it was 2:45 pm.
Finally, in the bottom of the 7th, Todd Walker hit a solo shot to Sheffield. The time? [cue the Twilight Zone theme music...] 3:45 pm.
Weird, wild, wacky stuff...
Saturday, May 28 : BP-16 [W-16,S-0], Roof-2 [A-2,C-0], Foul-0, HR-3 [W-1,S-2]
Season: BP-222 [W-169,S-53], Roof-15 [A-12,C-3], Foul-0, HR-17 [W-10,S-7]
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Today was a little different as Moe had to leave right after batting practice, so he couldn't stay for any part of the game. So what happens? Yep - you guessed it. First inning, Derrek Lee launches a line drive over the short fence in left-center and right into Andy's glove. Later on in the game - sixth inning I believe - Aramis Ramirez lifts a towering fly ball that clears the high fence and lands in my glove.
So Andy and I thank you Moe - from the bottom of our gloves - for keeping the tradition going...
Saturday, May 28 : BP-5 [W-5,S-0], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-2 [W-2,S-0]
Season: BP-206 [W-153,S-53], Roof-13 [A-10,C-3], Foul-0, HR-14 [W-9,S-5]
Friday, May 27, 2005
Torco sign building (now I guess it's the Miller Lite Beer sign building?). Bounces up against the fence, lands in... and out... and back in my glove. Thankfully the sidewalk was fairly deserted, otherwise I would've had some 'splaining to do.
The bad... Mark Prior taking a wicked line drive off his elbow. Didn't have to actually see it to know it was bad - the crowd reaction and the game delay was evidence enough.
The I-wouldn't-have-believed-it-if-I-hadn't-seen-it-myself... Middle of the game, I'm standing in my usual spot when I hear this low rumbling noise off to my left and a little behind me. After next pitch, I turn around and I see someone sitting on the fire hydrant, asleep and s-n-o-r-i-n-g! Now I know there are some folks that can fall asleep at the drop of a dime, but to be asleep, snoring away, and keep your balance while sitting on a not-so-ergonomically-designed fire hydrant? Very impressive...
Friday, May 27 : BP-19 [W-16,S-3], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-1 [W-0,S-1]
Season: BP-201 [W-148,S-53], Roof-13 [A-10,C-3], Foul-0, HR-12 [W-7,S-5]
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Couldn't stay for the game, which the Rockies won, 5-2. Preston Wilson took one out late in the game, bouncing it off the top of a bus. That's all I saw on TV, but Rich tells me it ended up heading towards a squad car, so he went around one end of the car and some guy went around the other end, and the ball bounced towards the other guy instead of Rich.
But Rich can take comfort in the fact that thanks to a little pre-game interview on the corner by Fox SportsNet Southwest, he is now known as "Papa Smurf" to all the viewers in the greater Denver area. And if you saw the blue shirt he was wearing on Thursday, you'd understand...
Thursday, May 26 : BP-4 [W-4,S-0], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-1 [W-1,S-0]
Season: BP-182 [W-132,S-50], Roof-13 [A-10,C-3], Foul-0, HR-11 [W-7,S-4]
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Weird sight of the day: Guy comes walking down Waveland carrying a bundle of firewood in each hand. Firewood -- in May??? Hope that's not an omen...
Cubs lose 5-1. Last night Cubs go against a future Hall-of-Famer Roger Clemens and win - ok, so Cubs didn't do most of their damage until after the Rocket left, but still... Tonight, Cubs go against some converted outfielder Brandon Backe, with Greg Maddux on the mound no less, and don't do squat. Go figure...
Wednesday, May 25 : BP-8 [W-8,S-0], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-178 [W-128,S-50], Roof-13 [A-10,C-3], Foul-0, HR-10 [W-6,S-4]
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Tuesday, May 24 : BP-1 [W-1,S-0], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-170 [W-120,S-50], Roof-13 [A-10,C-3], Foul-0, HR-10 [W-6,S-4]
Monday, May 23, 2005
This year it's pretty much down to Ensberg. Bagwell is looking at shoulder replacement surgery, Biggio's another year older, Beltran and Kent split for the coasts (East and West), Hildago's in the AL I think, and Berkman's still shaking off the rust after recovering from off-season knee reconstruction surgery.
So with the wind blowing in and the Cubs offense still in a funk, it's no surprise there was only one ball hit out tonight in BP. And given the cold temperatures in the forecast, it's no surprise I went home after BP and watched the game from the warmth and comfort of my couch.
But imagine my surprise when I saw not one but two homeruns come out during the game - both to right field. George says the one Patterson hit bounced into a yard across Sheffield and a passerby tracked it down. Then Burnitz blasted one in almost the same place an inning later. Hardly anyone was around so George tells me it just lay there for a few minutes while the crowd roared from the bleachers. Finally Dave came running around from left field and was able to grab it before some guy eating pizza could.
Priorities, man. Priorities...
Monday, May 23 : BP-1 [W-0,S-1], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-2 [W-0, S-2]
Season: BP-169 [W-119,S-50], Roof-13 [A-10,C-3], Foul-0, HR-10 [W-6,S-4]
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Paul Konerko goes yard - actually, it was more like street, tree, house, yard, fence, arm, chest, ground again, then hand - in the 9th inning.
And it was my hand that ended up with the ball for my first homer of the season.
Sunday, May 22 : BP-27 [W-17,S-10], Roof-1 [A-1,C-0], Foul-0, HR-1 [W-1, S-0]
Season: BP-168 [W-119,S-49], Roof-13 [A-10,C-3], Foul-0, HR-8 [W-6,S-2]
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Jermaine Dye goes yard - actually bus - in the 9th inning. One bounce off the top of a bus and a clean grab by a passer-by in a crowd.
Saturday, May 21 : BP-2 [W-2,S-0], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-1 [W-1, S-0]
Season: BP-141 [W-102,S-39], Roof-12 [A-9,C-3], Foul-0, HR-7 [W-5,S-2]
Friday, May 20, 2005
Friday, May 20 : BP-5 [W-2,S-3], Roof-1 [A-1,C-0], Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-139 [W-100,S-39], Roof-12 [A-9,C-3], Foul-0, HR-6 [W-4,S-2]
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Needless to say, this was another one I tracked from the comfort of my home. Couldn't follow too closely as I had to work, but had Pat and Ron on in the background, and when it went into extra innings, I flicked on the TV.
What a difference wind direction makes. Bottom of 10th, Derrek Lee up, and he just absolutely crushes one to left-center. Now with no wind, that one easily clears the fence and lands on Waveland. With any kind of South wind, it most likely clears Waveland and either lands in the Budweiser yard (on the fly) or bounces down the alley. But into the teeth of that 20 mph North wind, it barely makes the front row of the bleachers.
But hey, they all count, so the Cubs win a close one, 4-3.
Wednesday, May 11 : No BP (rain), Roof-6 [A-4,C-2], Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-134 [W-98,S-36], Roof-11 [A-8,C-3], Foul-0, HR-6 [W-4,S-2]
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Family Section. That still cracks me up - I can just imagine the meeting years ago when the suits came up with that idea...
"Hey - here's a thought. Let's create a special seating area where no alcohol can be consumed."
"Sure, and with no alcohol, it will be a much more pleasant experience to bring your kids to watch a game."
"Yeah, bring the kids. Hey - we could call it the Family Section. A nice, wholesome, clean-cut way to enjoy fun at the old ballpark."
"Perfect! And we can put it right next to... the Bleachers!!!"
Crack me up...
Tuesday, May 10 : BP-14 [W-9,S-5], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-134 [W-98,S-36], Roof-5 [A-4,C-1], Foul-0, HR-6 [W-4,S-2]
Monday, May 09, 2005
But not tonight. And yes, LaTroy Hawkins had something to do with it, but I can't think of anything to say that hasn't been said already, so I'll stick to the good stuff - like batting practice and Southwest winds. With the Mets in town, Beltran, Floyd and Piazza didn't disappoint as they jacked quite a few onto Waveland and Sheffield. Unfortunately that trend did not continue during the game -- four homers in the game (3 Mets, 1 Cubs) but they all stayed in.
And after the heavy rains came, I stayed in too - where it was nice and dry. I guess I've become a fair-weather ballhawk. Oh, the shame...
Monday, May 9 : BP-21 [W-15,S-6], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-120 [W-89,S-31], Roof-5 [A-4,C-1], Foul-0, HR-6 [W-4,S-2]
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Mother's Day brought much better weather to Wrigley - I guess Mother Nature knows how to take care of her own gender. A little Southerly breeze during BP helped a few balls make it out, but then the winds shifted to the East and pretty much shut down right field. Bobby Abreu jacked one high into the seats for the Phillies that with no wind probably would have made it out. Aramis Ramirez also launched one towards the high fence in left that with more of a Southern breeze might have come out.
So the only real action on the street today was in the 9th inning when everyone was just standing around, waiting to see if Dusty would leave Zambrano in to finish the game or bring in Hawkins. Seeing as how there wasn't a chorus of boos raining down, it was pretty clear that it was Zambrano's game to win or lose. And win it, he did.
Bring on the Mets! and those strong Southwest winds, too...
Sunday, May 8 : BP-13 [W-10,S-3], Roof-1 [A-1,C-0], Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-99 [W-74,S-25], Roof-5 [A-4,C-1], Foul-0, HR-6 [W-4,S-2]
Saturday, May 07, 2005
No BP for the Cubs - guess their bats needed a rest [that was sarcasm in case you couldn't tell]. Phillies hit but with 20 mph wind blowing in off the lake, nothing came close to coming out.
Much the same way for the game, which by the way was another loss for the Cubs. Played roof balls the whole game and not a one came out. About the only good thing about the day is the game was over quick enough for me to come home and bang out this quick summary, so now I can settle down with some comfort food (Oreos and milk) and watch the Kentucky Derby. I know, I know -- I should be drinking something a little stronger than milk while watching the Derby, but I've decided to give up alcohol until the Cubs win again.
Saturday, May 7 : BP-0, Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-86 [W-64,S-22], Roof-4 [A-3,C-1], Foul-0, HR-6 [W-4,S-2]
Friday, May 06, 2005
It was a beautiful day though, so I didn't mind a bit. About 75 degrees, a nice Southwest breeze, and surprisingly enough, a very low-scoring game. 1-0 Phillies through most of the game, but DLee hit a two-run blast into the center field bushes in the 8th to put the Cubs up by one, off Phillies' ace closer (Billy Wagner) no less.
So the Cubs bring in their ace (joker?) closer, LaTroy Hawkins, and the Cubs found yet another way to lose a close one. I'll definitely give them points for creativity. After watching the news highlights, I can't really blame Hawkins for this one though. He made a good play to catch the line drive and in hindsight, he probably should have just held onto the ball, but with a chance to make a game-ending double-play, he whirled and threw to first. Having the ball skip off the runner's helmet and into the stands was just plain bad luck, so even though the boo-birds were in full force, it wasn't LaTroy's fault - this time.
Cubs do need to get some bullpen help though. Whaddyathink, Jim Hendry - time to cash in some of those minor leaguers? Actually, it was time back in the offseason (Octavio Dotel), but if he doesn't do something quick, St. Louis is going to run away with the division again. And with Florida and Atlanta going strong, the Cubs can't count on settling for the wild card again.
Friday, May 6 : BP-26 [W-24,S-2], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-86 [W-64,S-22], Roof-4 [A-3,C-1], Foul-0, HR-6 [W-4,S-2]
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Of those ten, only two would be out next year with the bleacher expansion. I've been keeping track of the bleacher expansion effect all along so as soon as I figure out a way to format those numbers, I'll post something on the main site - www.ballhawk.com.
DLee continued his hot swinging ways by launching another one onto Waveland during the game -- not sure who got it as I busy with my real job. But it's nice to see the bats start to warm up. Cubs go on a road trip now but come back home next weekend for the Phillies and Mets. Thome, Burrell, Piazza, Floyd... oh my!
Wednesday, April 27 : BP-10 [W-3,S-7], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-1 [W-1,S-0]
Season: BP-60 [W-40,S-20], Roof-4 [A-3,C-1], Foul-0, HR-6 [W-4,S-2]
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Yesterday's park-clearing blast by Adam Dunn must have woke the Cubs bats up because they launched not one, two or three, but FOUR street shots - Derrek Lee, Jeremy Burnitz, Aramis Ramirez and Jason Dubois. I, of course, watched them all sail out of the park from the comfort of my couch at home.
From what I could see, the DLee blast bounced towards the Budweiser yard. My on-site correspondents tell me that Dave corralled that one and then caught the Burnitz one on the fly. Ramirez's was to deep left center and also bounced but George was in the perfect position to make a diving catch. Okay, okay, so my sources tell me he was umm... diving backwards, and as he was falling, er... I mean "diving", the ball kinda just bounced onto his chest and glove. But hey, they all count and right now, George's count is one more than mine, so that's all that matters. As for the Dubois, sounds like there was a bit of a tussle for that one, and some passer-by ended up with the ball.
Oh, and most likely none of them would have made it out of Wrigley next year, based on what we've been hearing about the bleacher expansion. But that's a rant for another day, maybe when the Cubs are on the road.
Tuesday, April 26 : No BP, Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-4 [W-3,S-1]
Season: BP-50 [W-37,S-13], Roof-4 [A-3,C-1], Foul-0, HR-5 [W-3,S-2]
Monday, April 25, 2005
No, Johnny, it wasn't Junior. It was Cincinnati's 6'6" lumberjack, Adam Dunn. And man, did he crush it. Way out onto Sheffield, over the right-centerfield bleachers. At least that's how it looked on TV.
Yes, I was home, watching it from the comfort of my couch. Hey, it was the 9th inning, it was cold and windy, the Cubs had [key word there is "had"] a huge lead, and I was tired. Don't know who got the ball -- I was already home; Moe, Rich and "Dick the Bruiser" were long gone; not sure about Dave; so my money is on George, aka "passer-by". Guess I'll find out tomorrow.
Anyway, it was a three-run blast - enough to make the game interesting and cause a slight rise in the collective blood pressure across the North Side. Surprisingly enough though, it took 9 innings before something went out. There were some serious Southwest gales blowing so I would have thought there to be at least 3-4 homers out on the street, but it wasn't meant to be.
BP was fairly disappointing as well, given the strong wind blowing out. Only 14 total, and the Cubs hit 11 of them. Just the opposite split of what I'd expect seeing as how I'd take Dunn, Griffey, MoPena, and Kearns anyday over Lee, Ramirez, Hollandsworth and Patterson in BP. To quote [for the first time this season] the venerable Eddie "Bench"... "That's baseball!"
Monday, April 25 : BP-14 [W-7,S-7], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-1 [W-0,S-1]
Season: BP-50 [W-37,S-13], Roof-4 [A-3,C-1], Foul-0, HR-1 [W-0,S-1]
Sunday, April 24, 2005
But even with the wind blowing in, Burnitz and Perez both were able to launch homers to lead the Cubs (and Wood) to a 5-2 victory. Of course, both homers stayed in the park as the ballhawks are still waiting for the first street homer of the year. Maybe tomorrow with the Reds coming to town...
Sunday, April 24 : BP-3 [W-0,S-3], Roof-1 [A-0,C-1], Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-36 [W-30,S-6], Roof-4 [A-3,C-1], Foul-0, HR-0
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Well, Ron Santo is well on his way to joining that fraternity with his own call - "Boy, oh boy, oh boy..." Too bad we're hearing it way too often these days. Poor guy really takes all these Cubs losses and mistakes way too hard. You can just picture him sitting up there in the booth, shaking his head, taking a deep breath and letting it out with a deep sigh, and then those mournful words... "Boy, oh boy, oh boy".
If you haven't guessed by now, there were a lot of Boy, oh boy, oh boy's on the air in the 9th inning today as the Pirates came from behind to win 4-3. Yes, LaTroy Hawkins had something to do with it, giving up a game-tying, opposite field homer to Jason Bay.
Needless to say, winds blowing in at a steady 20-25 mph from the North, kept everything inside the park, including roof balls. Snow flurries at the start of the game made for an interesting dynamic. Hmm... wonder what a dome on Wrigley would look like...
Saturday, April 23: No BP - the cage was frozen, Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-33 [W-30,S-3], Roof-3 [A-3,C-0], Foul-0, HR-0
Friday, April 22, 2005
If that brings to mind a Supertramp song from 1982, then you're starting to think like me and that should cause you some concern...
But it was an accurate description of the scene around Wrigley Field all day today. Didn't really clear up until about 5 or so, and at that point, it would have been considered a night game, so Cubs postponed the game.
Given the Pirates will be back in town again later in the season, I doubt they'll do the doubleheader thing tomorrow - with the exception of Ernie Banks, I can't think of anyone who'd want to play two in Saturday's predicted weather of 38 degrees with wind gusts of 30 mph from the North.
Friday, April 22: Game cancelled - Rain
Season: BP-33 [W-30,S-3], Roof-3 [A-3,C-0], Foul-0, HR-0
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
My sources tell me only one ball came out in BP - actually, given the strength of the winds blowing in, I'm surprised that even one came out. And in watching the highlights this evening, looks like there were several home runs - which again, given the wind direction, was rather surprising. None of them came out, but a few were fairly close.
Cubs head out for a seven game road trip so probably won't be too much to report on over the next few days. Guess I should probably think about doing my taxes...
Wednesday, April 13: BP-1 [W-1,S-0], Roof-3 [A-3,C-0], Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-33 [W-30,S-3], Roof-3 [A-3,C-0], Foul-0, HR-0
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Doubleheader tomorrow - Ernie Banks should be very happy...
Tuesday, April 12: No game - postponed due to weather
Season: BP-32 [W-29,S-3], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Monday, April 11, 2005
I couldn't stay for today's game (yes, I do have a real job...) but from what I heard, Ryan Dempster pitched a helluva game, perhaps silencing some of his critics (yes, I'm talking about you, Chris F.). Unfortunately, Cubs were on the short-end of a 1-0 stick.
BP was relatively tame, although San Diego did have some specially marked Opening Day 2005 baseballs mixed in with the regular practice supply. I was able to snag one of them on the fly so no scuff marks on it at all - very cool.
Also, it's only the 4th game of the home season, but I'm already starting to hear that familiar refrain... "who needs one? face value" and "anyone want to sit right behind home plate? less than face". At this rate, free-ticket day can't be far behind.
Yep, how soon the euphoria wears off from that March Madness that compels some to buy any and every ticket they can get their hands on. I guess in hindsight an early April weekday game against San Diego doesn't exactly stir the aftermarket juices, does it...
Monday, April 11: BP-8 [W-6,S-2], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-32 [W-29,S-3], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Sunday, April 10, 2005
I snagged a few, but of course the one I most remember is the one that got away - spoken like the true fisherman I am. I run up; get all camped under the ball ready to make an easy catch; then I hear Dick the Bruiser yell "Kenny"; I get a little spooked, thinking maybe a car or bike was coming; and ball goes off the tip of my glove and bounces down Kenmore.
So I go back to my spot, suitably embarrassed, when this young boy, probably only about 10 years old, comes up to me and says "That's okay. Sometimes these things happen." Out of the mouths of babes. Cracked me up... ;-)
Sunday, April 10: BP-17 [W-16,S-1], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-24 [W-23,S-1], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Saturday, April 09, 2005
Nothing of real note outside the park today. If I thought yesterday's BP was bad (only 5 then), today's was worse - only two total; both by the Cubs. But Jeremy Burnitz did smack the first Cubs game homer of the season today. Just barely made the first row of right-center bleachers but maybe that'll open the floodgates and the balls will start flying out of Wrigley, left and right. And maybe I'll lose 20 lbs, win the lottery, and regrow hair on my head. We'll see....
Saturday, April 9: BP-2 [W-2,S-0], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-7 [W-7,S-0], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Friday, April 08, 2005
It was indeed a "Welcome" day at Wrigley Field... well, at least for 8 innings. I'll not bore you with the gory details, but to paraphrase Simon and Garfunkel... "Where have you gone, Joe Borowski? Our bullpen turns its lonely eyes to you, woo woo woo"
Other than the extra-inning 6-3 loss, it was a glorious opening day -- weather was spectacular, sunshine was bright, and Billy Corgan was simply smashing. Only five balls came out in batting practice and none during the game - yep, it was Nor'easter wind. Lots of media types, all angling for that unique human interest story yet all asking the same questions.
Friday, April 8: BP-5 [W-5,S-0], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0
Season: BP-5 [W-5,S-0], Roof-0, Foul-0, HR-0