The Rundown: Wild Finish, Beer Snakes, Eclipse Fever

Wow, that was one of the weirdest games I’ve ever experienced. It started, predictably, at the start. The traffic from the Air and Water Show had my dander up before I’d even gotten to the ballpark, after which the wacky antics of Canadians bakin’ in a Chicago sun that was far more direct than they’re normally used to drew further ire.

I’m kidding, of course, about the latter part. The piles of Maple Leafs strewn about Wrigleyville made for a pretty cool atmosphere. We’re used to Cubs fans traveling well, but seeing all the Jays fans in and around Wrigley was unlike anything I’d seen before. And since they’re wearing the same colors for the most part, the infiltration wasn’t nearly as conspicuous as it might be for other teams.

It was probably having my family with me for the first time this season, but something just seemed super mellow about the whole affair. Perhaps the chemtrails the shadow government is using to gain our docile obedience are finally taking hold. Wait, THAT’S the real purpose of the Air and Water Show! Dammit, why am I just now realizing this?


In any case, it quickly became evident that this was not going to be a quick game. Some of that may have been the direct sunlight accosting me in left-center, but there was also this sense that neither team really wanted the weekend to come to a close. Like the Blue Angels buzzing the field every so often throughout the game, the Cubs and Jays seemed perfectly content to fly in formation. Until they didn’t.

You don’t need my description of the game’s crazy events heaped on top of the rest of those out there, so I’ll avoid most of the blow-by-blow except to say that I almost missed it. Since they’ve run the bases several times before, we weren’t planning on having our kids get in early enough to score the requisite wristbands. Plans changed when an usher gave us a couple toward the end of the game, so my wife and daughter headed down in the 9th inning in order to shave some time from the interminable line.

I almost wished I had joined them after watching Justin Wilson’s inefficacy, feeling almost sure that a two-run deficit was insurmountable. Besides, I reasoned, the Canadians in the hoose kinda deserved a win for their efforts and I’d come to terms with the loss. Somewhat disillusioned but with still a corona of hope shining around the edges, I told my son that we’d stay in our seats if War Bear reached. Sure enough, Schwarber got to first on a dropped third strike.

A single, wild pitch, groundout, another dropped third strike, hit by pitch, and single later, we were singing Go, Cubs, Go and high-fiving everyone around. And with as much time as that 10th inning took, the kids didn’t even want to run the bases any longer. That’s cool, though, since El Mago had already run them.

Beer snakes for the win

At some point midway through the game, we heard the kind of crowd noises normally associated with a fracas or kerfuffle of some sort and assumed that either some fans were getting into it or that someone’s ill-fated proposal had gone sour. What we couldn’t see due the camera outpost in center was that bleacher patrons had begun stacking their empties to form “snakes.”

More realistic than the titular beasts from Anaconda, these creations were considered just as dangerous by security. But here’s the thing about confiscating an otherwise harmless novelty from drunk folks: They’re only going to go bigger. So it was that the stacks of cups proliferated, growing larger each time. While my wife tut-tutted, I tittered, knowing damn well that I’d have gladly participated in the shenanigans were I a little younger or sans family.

It got to the point where patrons were paying more attention to the goings-on with the snakes than with the game itself. Even the players were turning to take in the proceedings in the stands between pitches and I was sure at one point that Albert Almora Jr. was going to be caught with his pants down.

The coup de grâce came when a humongous hank of Hefty cups rose from the bowels of the bleachers in right, a slithering monument to booze and fun.

The celebration was short-lived as this tower suffered the same fate as those that had gone before it, eventually falling to the iron fist of Andy Frain. Not sure how we’re supposed to celebrate the heritage and culture of the Bleacher Bums when ANTIFUN keeps tearing these monuments down.

Don’t stare at the sun

Here’s your eleventeenth reminder to not stare directly at the sun today, kids. We don’t need you ruining your retinas and being unable to read these pages in the future. I’m actually pretty stoked about this eclipse, though I’m not near enough to the totality band to really make it the coolest thing ever.

I should mention, however, that the danger of looking at the sun isn’t any greater than usual, it’s just that you don’t need to be staring at it for prolonged periods. Just be smart.

More news and notes

  • Chase Anderson has been activated from the DL after being out nearly two months with an oblique issue. This is a big boost for a Brewers team that has been gasping for air in the second half.
  • With a win over the D-backs, 44-year-old Bartolo Colon became the 18th pitcher in MLB history to get a W against all 30 teams. Although, considering the relative recency of the current structure of the game, I guess that’s not as high a distinction as I’d first though. Still cool, though.
  • Though he missed out on a return to Wrigley this weekend, Brett Anderson joined the Blue Jays on a minor-league deal and is starting at AAA with the possibility of a quick promotion.
  • With the help of many different people, Cubs Insider was able to play a role in raising $4K for Cubs Charities and Hazleton Integration Project as part of the John Baker Day festivities.
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