Monday, August 29, 2005

Ryne Sandberg, Beef Stew, and R.J. Grunts

So, we went to the Ryne Sandberg Jersey Retirement Day at the ballpark.

Sure, it was a gorgeous day, and the team came back from a tie to win 14-3, but who cares? This team is such a colossal disappointment that I haven’t wanted to even talk about it (here).

I just checked eBay, and there are 10 of the giveaway hats on there. Kinda brings a tear to the eye, huh?

It is baffling to me why I still see Hollandsworth is playing left field, and don’t tell me it is because Matt Lawton is off to the Yankees. Is it so he can be showcased? Then play Walker, and all those other veterans that can be sold off for loose parts. Then when the Micah Bowies of the world come up and flop, we can be remembered where we got these guys. Like Justin Berg. Won’t it be cool to think that we only had to give up (in effect) Jason Dubois to get him? Assuming, of course, we ever hear from Jason again.

OK, but I would really like to see Murton playing out there, but this is not original thought, now is it?

Back to Ryne. I remember his first game with the Cubs. He was playing third base, and I was home from school, having faked sick (I can admit it now) so I would not have to go to Camp McLain, and the reason. I had (have) such a pathological hatred for beef stew that I had to avoid going once I saw it on the menu for one meal. One of six meals, I think. It was sixth grade, and I forfeited the chance to be cool and hang with cool kids (you know who you are/were), but I didn’t, and do you know why? I didn’t like beef stew.

So, anyway, I remember the Cubs were opening in Cincinnati for the traditional National League Opener. Bump Wills was the second baseman (his last year in the majors) and led off the game with a home run. Sandberg looked skinny, and was just starting his 1 for 32 season.

The coolest Sandberg story is from Labor Day 1987. Someone decided we were going out to dinner, and so, Mom and Dad and Laura went to RJ Grunts in Glenview. We had to wait for a table (those were the days in which we went to restaurants that required a wait for a table) I immediately saw it was the Sandbergs, and pleaded with Laura not to make a scene. I was 17 and wanted nothing less than to see my bogus sister embarrass me. She didn’t.

At that time, Dad was making faces at one of the small children in the waiting area. Finally, the parents (I can only assume Cindy) of the child decided that the wait was enough and left. This is the wife that was banging Mark Grace, Rafael Palmeiro, Dave Martinez and Rey Sanchez. And of the infamous corn cob dress.

They had given their name to the hostess under a name that was not Sandberg, and when Laura informed them who they had not seated, the hostess immediately called the name and started backtracking…but they were gone.

I also saw his last game as a Cub. He got a single in his last at bat, and was pulled for a pinch runner. I had hoped to see him finish the game, but he apparently asked to go out this way.

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