2020 Games Of Interest

March 28 – White Sox Puffy Vest
April 11 – White Sox Hoodie
April 18 – Yoan Moncada Bobblehead
April 25 – TBD Bobblehead
May 2 – Lucas Giolito X-Wing Fighter Bobblehead
May 16 – 1960 Replica Scoreboard
May 29 – Fireworks
May 30 – Tim Anderson Batflip Bobblehead
June 6 – White Sox Hawaiian Shirt
June 26 – Fireworks
July 1 – Wrigley Field Scoreboard Replica
July 19 – TBD Bobblehead

August 28 – Elvis Night & Fireworks
September 20 – TBD Bobblehead

Fitbit 6: Week 4

It’s been well over half a year since I’ve had a week above goal, and, sadly, last week was no different.  Sunday got off to a somewhat decent start, compared to recent weeks, with 4500 steps, thanks in part to a trip to Lowes to check out plumbing options.  I was home from work again on Monday, as the dehumidifiers were removed, which left me a step over 3600.  Tuesday was the high point of the week and was still over 500 steps below goal, which is pretty sad.  Wednesday managed to come in at around 6200 steps.  Thursday was down to 5200 steps, while Friday bounced back up to just under 6000.  Saturday came close to 2900 steps, despite heading out to look at carpet replacements.

Total steps: 35,365

Daily average: 5052.1

iTunes Top 200: #125

itunes_image4 years ago, we last counted down the Top 200 songs in my iTunes library. Since my iTunes stats are still intact, across multiple PCs, iPods, iPads, and iPhones, I figured it was time to take another look at my most listened to songs, based on number of plays as of January 1, 2020.

Today, we continue on with the next group of songs tied for 125th place with 32 listens since my iTunes stats began in late 2007.

#125: Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl
iTunes stats: 32 plays, most recently on 9/30/2019
Previous ranking: #167

The track peaked at number two on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 and appeared on Volume 14 of my mix tapes.

#125: Tommy James & The Shondells – Crimson and Clover
iTunes stats: 32 plays, most recently on 11/5/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

An impressive debut for the song that hit #1 on the charts in February 1969.

#125: Andrew Gold – Final Frontier (TV Theme)
iTunes stats: 32 plays, most recently on 6/26/2019
Previous ranking: #96

The theme song from Mad About You, the mid-90s NBC hit about the Buchman clan that recently returned for a new run on some streaming platform nobody has ever heard of.

#125: Saved By The Bell Theme
iTunes stats: 32 plays, most recently on 4/4/2019
Previous ranking: #56

A big drop for the theme song from NBC’s Saturday morning staple.

#125: Snoop Dogg – Who Am I (What’s My Name)?
iTunes stats: 32 plays, most recently on 9/13/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

An impressive debut for the solo debut from Snoop, the 62nd biggest single of 1994 and member of Volume 11 of my mix tapes.

#125: Motley Crue – Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
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Ballpark Tour: Brewers

Spring training is in full swing and opening day is about a month away, as we continue our tour of all of the baseball stadiums I’ve been to over the years. The closest city, outside of Chicago, for baseball, contains the homes of the Milwaukee Brewers. Between the two stadiums that have been located in the heart of cheeseland, I’ve seen 8 games. So, without further ado, let’s take a deeper look at my history with County Stadium and Miller Park.

Stadium Name: County Stadium

Years in Service: 1953 – 2000

Visits: 1

Milwaukee County Stadium was built with the intention of drawing a major league baseball team to Milwaukee, and it worked quicker than anybody would have expected, as the Braves announced they would be moving from Boston 3 weeks before the stadium, and the 1953 season, opened.  The Braves would call Milwaukee home for the next 13 seasons before leaving for Atlanta for the 1966 season.

During the 1968 and 1969 seasons, the struggling Chicago White Sox wound up playing 20 home games at County Stadium in an effort to keep the baseball fandom alive in Milwaukee.  In 1970, local businessman Bud Selig purchased the expansion Seattle Pilots out of bankruptcy court and moved them to Milwaukee and rechristened them the Brewers.  The Brewers would call County Stadium home until 2000, when they would move next door in to the newly built Miller Park.

I made one trip up to County Stadium for a White Sox/Brewers tilt on July 18, 1993.  The White Sox were victorious thank to a 2-run single by Bo Jackson in the 9th inning. I remember sitting out in the bleachers, but, beyond that, have no particular memory of the stadium or what amenities, if any, it offered.

Stadium Name: Miller Park

Years in Service: 2003 – Present

Visits: 7

The Brewers broke ground on a new stadium on November 9, 1996, in a parking lot behind County Stadium, with plans to open the park for the 2000 season.  Construction was delayed in 1999 after a crane collapsed while lifting a 400-ton roof section, killing three workers.  This caused the opening to be delayed for a year, and the new Miller Park did not open until April 6, 2001.  In 2007, the stadium hosted an Indians series against the Angels after snow storms in Cleveland forced the cancellation of the previous series against the Mariners.  The Astros called Miller Park home for two games in 2008 when Hurricane Ike stormed through Houston.

I made the first of my seven visits to Miller Park during the inaugural season of 2001.  That May 7th contest had the Cubs squeaking out a 7-6 victory against the hosting Brewers.  My most recent trip up north was this past summer, to once again see the Cubs battle (or destroy) the Brewers.  Miller Park was a vastly superior replacement over County Stadium, and I’ve enjoyed each of my subsequent trips up to Milwaukee to see the local ballclubs.

The Decade In College Sports

The 2010s have drawn to a close and its time to take a look back at the previous decade.  Today, we are wrapping things up with college athletics, specifically football and basketball.  On the gridiron, this was not a particularly successful ten years for the boys in gold and black, with only 4 bowl games, none of which were particularly prestigious.  Things were considerably brighter on the hardwood, with 8 appearances in the NCAA tournament, including 2 losses in the Sweet Sixteen and 1 Elite Eight appearance.  Not to mention 2 Big Ten regular season titles.

I only managed to take in 3 football game over the past 10 years, all at Ross-Ade Stadium.  The home team managed to win only the first of those, and were frankly somewhat embarrassed in the other two.

Team Records
Team Won Loss Winning Percentage
Northern Illinois Huskies 1 0 1.000
Illinois Fighting Illini 1 1 0.500
Purdue Boilermakers 1 2 0.333

Things were a little better on the basketball side.  I made it to 9 different contests over the course of the decade, at 5 different arenas.  Of those 9, 4 were tournament games.  Purdue was involved in 8 of the 9 games, mostly against the Illini.

Team Records
Team Won Loss Winning Percentage
Virginia Commonwealth Rams 1 0 1.000
Northwestern Wildcats 1 0 1.000
Butler Bulldogs 1 0 1.000
Purdue Boilermakers 5 3 0.625
Illinois Fighting Illini 1 3 0.250
Vermont Catamounts 0 1 0.000
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 0 1 0.000
Iowa State Cyclones 0 1 0.000

Turn On The Marquee

Tomorrow, the Marquee Sports Network, the new home of the Cubs, goes live as the team kicks off their slate of games in the 2020 Cactus League.  Unfortunately, for the majority of homes in the Chicagoland area, the network will not be available.

Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies will continue on as the main announcing team for Cubs games.  They will occasionally be joined by one of the roving band of analysts that have been announced to date: Lou Piniella, Rick Sutcliffe, Mark Grace, Carlos Peña, Mark DeRosa, Ryan Dempster, Doug Glanville, Dan Plesac, and Jason Hammel.  Cole Wright, formerly of NFL Network, will be the studio host for pre- and post-game coverage and Taylor McGregor will be the sideline reporter, a role she previously held with the Rockies.

The one thing Marquee doesn’t have is a carriage agreement with Comcast, the dominant cable operator in the Chicago metropolitan area.  Comcast has 1.5 million home subscribers in the area, more than all the other metro area operators combined.  The Cubs hope to avoid the fate of the Dodgers, who created their own network in 2014 and still have not gotten full clearance in the Los Angeles market, after 7 years and 2 World Series appearances.  Tomorrow was a soft deadline to get a deal done.  If nothing happened by March 26, when the Cubs open the season in Milwaukee against the Brewers.

2020 Tickets – Northside Edition

For the second straight year, the Cubs are going all-digital for their season tickets through the MLB Ballpark app.  No word on whether the team plans to offer commemorative printed tickets after the season, as they did last season.  While the convenience of digital tickets can’t be denied, the move continues to be a disappointment for those of us who collect ticket stubs.

Fitbit 6: Week 3

A horrible week, in more ways than one.  I actually got off to a pretty decent start on Sunday, thanks to trips to Costco and the grocery store, which left me with over 6100 steps.  I managed to surpass my daily goal on Monday by 92 steps.  Tuesday, things fell apart as I came home to a ceiling leaking water from the upstairs to the downstairs and then into the basement.  All of the running around trying to contain the damage left me with nearly 7100 steps.  I worked from home on Wednesday to let in the salvage/cleaning crew and managed only 3200 steps.  Thursday I put in half a day at work before coming home to see the destruction of the hardwood floor in the kitchen, gaining 3900 steps along the way.  I was home again on Friday, which left me with only 3200 steps.  Saturday was another black hole of a day, with a mere 3400 steps.

Total steps: 34,639

Daily average: 4948.4

All Time Batting Leaders – Through 2019

baseballs2Last week, we took our annual look at the all time leaders in pitching stats for the 948 games I’ve attended (and identified) between 1984 and 2019. With the full White Sox roster reporting to camp yesterday and full workouts beginning today, it’s time to move over to the other side of the ball and take a look at the offensive stat leaders for those games, starting with our first category:

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 93
Sammy Sosa 42
Aramis Ramirez 41
Derrek Lee 40
Jermaine Dye 40

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 366
Alexei Ramirez 300
Derrek Lee 255
AJ Pierzynski 239
Aramis Ramirez 234

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 200
Derrek Lee 140
Alexei Ramirez 134
Aramis Ramirez 120
A.J. Pierzynski 106

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 235
Aramis Ramirez 158
Alexei Ramirez 140
Derrek Lee 134
Jermaine Dye 108

Doubles Continue reading →

iTunes Top 200: #125 – 144

itunes_image4 years ago, we last counted down the Top 200 songs in my iTunes library. Since my iTunes stats are still intact, across multiple PCs, iPods, iPads, and iPhones, I figured it was time to take another look at my most listened to songs, based on number of plays as of January 1, 2020.

We have completed the first quarter of the countdown and, today, we finish up the final batch of songs tied for 144th place with 31 listens and move on to the first group tied for 125th since my stats began in late 2007.

#144: The Cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Dawn’s Lament
iTunes stats: 31 plays, most recently on 11/9/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

Michelle Trachtenberg’s entry to the Buffy musical episode makes a strong debut.

#144: Biz Markie – Just A Friend
iTunes stats: 31 plays, most recently on 11/14/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

An impressive debut for the song ranked #81 on VH1s list of Greatest One Hit Wonders and which appears on Volume 2 of my mix tapes.

#144: Bill Haley & His Comets – Shake, Rattle and Roll
iTunes stats: 31 plays, most recently on 10/25/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

Featured in Clue: The Movie, it is considered the first giant rock and roll hit after, along with Joe Turner’s version of the song, selling over 1 million copies.

#144: The Beatles – I Saw Her Standing There
iTunes stats: 31 plays, most recently on 7/28/2019
Previous ranking: #118

A big drop for the B-side to the group’s first American single, it spent 11 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #14.

#144: The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night
iTunes stats: 31 plays, most recently on 8/22/2019
Previous ranking: #96

A bigger drop for the title track to both the album and the movie.

#144: The Beatles – Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
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