Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Must be a new baseball rule

So just how is a guy trying to catch a foul ball going into the stands responsible for eight runs? Don't Cubby errors have something to do with it?

Cub Fans Share the Love!

Here's a sampling of Cub fan reaction to the "fouled ball," from the Oct. 15 Sun-Times, in brief:
BY GREG COUCH Staff Reporter
Five outs from the World Series, and Florida's Luis Castillo hit a fly ball that went to Cubs left fielder Moises Alou. He drifted over toward the stands and jumped for the ball, but then a young man in the crowd in a dark shirt, Cubs cap and headphones reached over with both hands looking for a souvenir and knocked the ball away.
The play was ruined, and Alou jumped out of control in anger, reportedly yelling an obscenity at the fan. A few minutes later, the man cried while holding a sweater over his face as three security guards escorted him in safety out of the stands.
Later, they gave the man, maybe 25 years old and 5-7, a tan jacket as a disguise so he could leave the stadium safely.
Cubs security wouldn't release the man's name, saying they worried for his safety.
"Did you see the replay? Did he interfere?'' asked fan Paul Springer, who was sitting two rows behind the unnamed man.
"Then they should kill him.''
Afterward, the man just sat there. Sat there listening to his headphones as if he had no idea of what the heck he had done to the Cubs, the fans, the city. History.
And that seemed to gall the fans near him. They threw beer at him, screamed "Thanks a lot, [expletive].''
"He had those headphones on and wasn't paying attention,'' Springer said. "He was just sitting there in the whole maelstrom.''
The maelstrom included the fans chanting an obscenity. Outside the stadium, people looked for the man, figuring he had been thrown out.
Some fans in the stands ran down from nearby to yell at the guy or worse. Security escorted several people out of Wrigley Field.
Cubs manager Dusty Baker, who has spent the season shooting down the idea of curses, telling fans to forget about the past, was still able to keep cool afterward.
"It had nothing to do with the curse,'' he said. "It has to do with the fan interference, the very uncharacteristic error by Gonzo, because he doesn't miss anything. And then they just started hitting.''
Alou had calmed down afterward, too, saying, "I had a 100 percent chance to catch it. [But] any fan in any ballpark would go for the ball.''
But other Cubs fans weren't so willing to absolve. A man named Matt, who wouldn't give his last name, sat nearby.
"It's a good thing they got him out of there,'' Matt said. "They were going to beat the hell out of the guy. He was going to die.''

Cubs fans: hapless, hopeless, homicidal.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Sheb Wooley

Gosh, darn it, I've been wanting to tell this one for weeks, and it slipped my mind. After going on for some length on my previous posts about the "proper" way to memorialize the passing of a well-liked entertainer, I think Sheb merited the one I had in the back of my mind. No speeches, no cheesy cartoons of the guy meeting St. Peter... as the composer of the Hee Haw theme (and now that there are "Hee-Haw" videos for sale, the official web site has become much more than the mere placeholder I first found), Sheb rates a big "Cornfield County Salute:"


Sheb is best known for writing and performing 1958's "Purple People Eater," one of the few rock'n'roll novelty songs that's still fun to listen to after you've heard it a few times. His "Ben Colder" songs wear thin after a while, though. Anyway, Barb and I passed through his hometwon of Erick, Oklahoma on our 2001 Rt. 66 tour. There, the two main cross streets are named after him and fellow homeboy, his brother-in-law Roger Miller. The picture below shows the two streets, but the signs keep getting stolen. One is the old Rt. 66, the other is the road to the Interstate. Unfortunately, like many small, rural towns, there's not much left to see. The corner I stood on to take this 2-picture, expertly stitched together, panorama, was empty, just an old tile floor where a building had been. The cater-corner building is the "100th Meridian Museum," but it was apparently open only by appointment (besides, 100? W is actually the Texas Border, a few miles away). There's a story about our visit there that Barb wrote, perhaps I'll get around to posting it.

Here's a link to some other pictures of mine.