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Month: February 2024

Baseball is back

I was in my happy place, watching baseball. I am happy that baseball returned. The Cubs were playing the Padres. I was sipping beer. The saloon was almost empty. There were only three other patrons. No one screamed at the television. No one played the jukebox, cutting off the game sound. It was a pleasant, sunny afternoon to watch my favorite sport. Unfortunately, both the Cubs and White Sox lost.

I am not a fanatic. I do not care about game or player stats. I only care whether the Cubs or Sox win. If the teams do good in the pre-season, I may splurge for tickets on season games. It is a tough proposition since they are so expensive. A day at the ballpark with drinks and food can break the bank. But there is nothing, I mean nothing, like watching a ballgame in the park.

When I was a lad, a neighbor had season White Sox tickets. He would take his kids and their friends to games at Comiskey Park. These were the first of many games I went to. I was an Andy Frain usher in the late 1960s. I worked at many Cubs and Sox games. Sometimes on the same day, the Cub’s day game and the Sox night game. Once the games started, we could watch them.

In college, we ditched classes on opening day and sat in the Wrigley bleachers. It was great. There were many unusual characters in those bleachers. So many that a play, “Bleacher Bums,” was written and a smash hit. There was betting on every aspect of the game. Cash floated throughout the bleachers along with cigar smoke.

Songwriter and singer Steve Goodman loved the Cubs. He wrote two songs about them, “Go Cubs Go” and “A Dying Cubs Fan Last Request.”

My daughter has been an avid Cubs fan since she was young. One year when she was nine years old, her mother and I gave her a Christmas gift of going to spring training. A friend lived in Arizona and set the whole thing up. It was the first time she would fly alone.

A few weeks before her departure, her mother asked me what to tell her to say if some freak talked to her on the plane and made her uncomfortable. I told her to tell my daughter to say her father is a hitman for the Chicago Outfit. If he did not leave her alone, her father would kill everything he loves. His mother, father, wife, children, dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses, goats, everything. Then he would kill him. It would take him three days to be killed.

Her mother did not think a daughter should think if her father like that. I agreed. I told her to forget the animals. A daughter should not think her father would kill innocent animals. About a week later, they came up with a solution. I was still a police officer. She would tell the freak, “My father is old, crazy, and carries guns. All his friends are old, crazy, and carry guns. Would you like to meet them?” Fortunately, the flights to and from were uneventful. My friends and I did not have to meet anyone.

Baseball is back. Time to rejoice.


Early voting for the primary election starts in all fifty wards on March 4th. Get out there and vote. We do not need another embarrassing election where only 35% +/- of registered voters turn out. Chicago needs to up its game. Voting is the most patriotic thing you can do. Our city, state, and country are facing multiple problems and crises. The politicians need to know we care and demand better. The only way to do that is at the ballot box.

If it was up to me, I would throw all the career bums out and put fresh people in office. However, that does not work in this county and state. Once elected, they are almost impossible to get rid of. Most are overpaid liars and grifters.

There is no such thing as an honest politician. All politicians are liars. Not all liars are politicians. Politicians give liars a bad reputation.

“After the combative Lori Lightfoot, Johnson seemed like a candidate for Mr. Congeniality. But Johnson’s communication missteps appear to have exhausted the bank of goodwill with the reporters who cover him — and, in turn, has kept the public in the dark about what his administration is doing.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

It appears that the kissy-faced Chicago news media honeymoon with Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson is over. According to the Times, the “City Hall press corps has turned hostile, openly frustrated with a mayor who is seldom accessible and evasive when he does take questions.” It is about time. Johnson was just as evasive on the campaign trail. But the gullible so-called journalists ignored it. Some even referred to him as a great politician.

They gave Johnson the benefit of the doubt for way too long. Johnson is proving every day he is not fit to hold the office of mayor of Chicago. There are also discussions that Tony Preckwinkle is disappointed in her protégé. Governor J.B. Pritzker is said to not be too happy with him either.

Johnson came into office with what many claimed were good or popular ideas to reform municipal governance. Unfortunately, good or popular ideas do not always translate into good public policy. His mishandling of the migrant crisis is one example. Johnson is not hiring the best and the brightest on his leadership team. People in the neighborhoods are angrily disappointed. Their voices are not being heard. Even some alderpersons are tired of his way of doing things. I know people who not only voted for him but championed and contributed to his campaign. They are sorely disappointed and angry.

Every time Johnson faces the cameras, he looks like a deer in the headlights. He never answers a question. He dances around the issue. When that does not work, he reminds us who and what he and his family are, as if that matters. As a county commissioner, Johnson spent little to no time with the media. He was not prepared to answer their pointed questions, especially over critical issues.

Johnson is not only in hot water with the media. His ratings are in the 28% range, near the toilet. Citizens are fed up, alderpersons are not happy, and the City that Works is not working. If this goes on much longer, Johnson may be another one-term mayor.