Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Cubs choose to honor someone who beat them

Robert Redford is throwing out the first pitch at opening day at Wrigley Field this year.

Hey look, Redford is a great actor. All The President's Men, The Sting, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance , The Candidate... he's been is some of the best films of all time. And he's no slouch as a director. Ordinary People is great. Quiz Show is my favorite film of his. And his new film, The Conspirator, looks great.

But what in the name of Harry Carray and Ron Santo is going on here?
What is Sundance's connection to the Cubs?

I'll tell you... in fact I already did in a previous post. In The Natural, Roy Hobbs was going off to try out for the Cubs when he struck out The Whammer at the carnival and was shot by Barbara Hershey. So he never got to play for the Cubs. And later, as a member of the Knights, he saw Glenn Close stand up and be circled by sunlight. He responded by hitting a ball through the center field clock at Wrigley Field AGAINST the Cubs!

So he played a guy who didn't sign with the Cubs and later beat them.

THIS is who the Cubs are honoring on opening day?
A man who grew up in Los Angeles idolizing Ted Williams and the Red Sox?

I would have no problem with Redford throwing out the first ball any other day. But shouldn't opening day be about celebrating the team, not shining the light on a movie star?

I guess you could ask Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg or Andre Dawson to do the honors... but that could be too obvious.

Hall of Famer and former Cub Cy Young winner Bruce Sutter could be given the ball, but he seems to have embraced the Cardinals more than the Cubs.

They could bring out Rod Blagojevich to throw out the first pitch.

Yeah it would be awkward to associate the Cubs with Blago, but come on... is it any worse than the Mets association with Bernie Madoff?

By the way, doesn't he just look awkward with that Cubs hat on? Not as bad as John Kerry at Fenway Park, but damn close.

What about Bill Murray?

If you are going to bring in some movie star power, Bill is as good as The Great Waldo Pepper. And he's had a hit movie more recently as well.

He's a lifelong Cubs fan and filled in a game for Harry Carey back in 1987 when Harry was recovering from a stroke.

Then again with Bill, there is always the possibility that he won't show up.

I am sure Jim Belushi will do it.

He's a Chicago boy (and of course inevitably bring around memories of his brother who was also a rabid Cubs fan.)

He even played a rabid fan trying to see the Cubs in the World Series in the movie Taking Care of Business. (The willing suspension of disbelief is important in watching that film.)

Besides, I bet he could promote The Defenders just before he makes the pitch.

Why not Eddie Vedder?

I always associate him with Seattle, but he is a native of Evanston Illinois and a lifelong Cubs fan.

I find it bizarre that he burst on to the scene nearly 20 years ago. My God, how old am I? Pearl Jam were big when I was in college. Now he is becoming an elder statesman.

Have him throw out the first pitch... while we are young!

Speaking about feeling old... why not Macaulay Culkin?

The kid was left alone in Chicago in that movie, so shouldn't he be an icon now?

I tell you what he also is now... a 30 year old man!!!

Bring in Bonnie Hunt!

If you are going to bring in a movie star, don't have it be someone who beat the Cubs! Have it be someone who lived in the houses behind Wrigley Field!

The Cubs blew their chance to hire my former boss to be their manager.

Don't blow having her throw out the first pitch! Besides, she is already going to be there. She hasn't missed an opening day since 1977!

So no offense Mr. Redford... there are better and more appropriate people to throw out the first pitch.

Then again, maybe they should just bring that Billy Goat to the mound.

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  1. I vote for Bonnie, too!

  2. All would be better Cubs related choices than Redford. I'd even throw John Cusack into the mix. Bonnie Hunt throwing out the first pitch would be awesome, but it would also make me miss her show.

  3. Vedder will do it when he plays a solo show in June in Chicago.