Mondays with Mike: Slumgullion

May 12, 2014 • Posted in baseball, Mike Knezovich, Mondays with Mike, Uncategorized by

I’ve come down with spring fever. OK, given that it was 80+ degrees yesterday, muggy, and that we seem to be skipping the spring thing altogether so far here in Chicago, spring fever might be a stretch. But I’ve got the symptoms: Day dreaming, distracted, don’t much want to focus on anything. So today’s MwM will be a slumgullion of sorts. What’s a slumgullion? Well, growing up, I’d wander into the kitchen to bug my mom about dinner. “What’re you cooking?” I’d ask, as she stood over a big skillet that was still over my head.”

“Slumgullion,” she’d say. Slumgullion was code for a one-off potpourri of what she had in the fridge. And so here’s the blog version.

Going to the moon never gets old.

Going to the moon never gets old.

  • You may recall my “Reform This!” post about the state of education from a few weeks back. Well, a brave School principal penned an op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times bemoaning Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s—and the Chicago Public School (CPS) administration’s—poor stewardship of the Chicago schools. It’s a great piece, it confirms that MBA types who don’t know a thing about classrooms are taking decision-making away from those who do. It’s a very well written, thoughtful piece, I hope you’ll read it. (Thanks to Beachwood Reporter for calling it out.)
  • Yesterday was Mother’s Day, when we celebrate the mothers who are with us, and—I think I can speak for others—we remember and we grieve about the mothers who are gone. I lost mine in 1992, 15 months after my father died on Labor Day, 1991. It’s still kind of hard to believe it’s been that long. Certainly, I feel different than I did say, the moment I heard the news. Or the week after or the month after. But I don’t miss them any less. Sometimes it’s even more. This grieving and bereavement thing doesn’t come with any training, and there’s no one timetable for everyone, that’s for sure. It’s part of the deal. Dealing with that part of the deal is easier for having company, and for hearing from others about their experience—and here’s a fantastic piece on the subject in The New Yorker called Nobody’s Son. It’s not rosy. But it’s honest, and somehow I felt better for reading it. Hope you do, too.
  • All year this year, the Chicago Cubs are celebrating the 100th birthday of Wrigley Field (originally called Weegham Field, until chewing gum magnate Phil Wrigley bought it). It’s seen a lot of history, but here in Chicago, sometimes we confuse the history of a team for the history of a building. And, in my view, the North Side club can’t hold a candle to the South Side’s history. The Sox’s history is more colorful, it’s richer and quirkier. You’ve got Charles Comiskey and the Black Sox and Shoeless Joe Jackson. Minnie Minoso. Bill Veeck—twice. Disco Demolition. Short pants. Exploding scoreboards. Harry Caray singing at the stretch (yeah, it started on the South Side). And Frank Thomas (who’s headed to the Hall of Fame this year), just to name a few highlights. Luckily, the New York Times (hello Chicago beat writers) has a good national baseball writer who takes notice of White Sox history. And Tyler Kepner’s produced two gems this year.One piece looks at what some of the members of the 2003 White Sox thought about drug testing—and their scheme to get it implemented way back then. To his credit, another NY Times reporter–Murry Chass–was on it in real timeAnother Kepner piece looked back at the longest (by time) baseball game in history. The White Sox played the Brewers, and the game actually took two days to play. Tom Seaver won that game, and another—on the same day. Great story.
  • I was 11 years old back in 1968 when Apollo 8 brought humans to orbit the moon for the first time ever. I still remember it. And I’ll put the moon launches up against any technological achievement since. I mean, pay at the pump is great. And sure, my iPhone has more computing power than Apollo 8’s space capsule did. But those missions went to the freakin’ moon, dammit. And it was us. All of us Americans, doing something fantastic. That beats the daylights out of texting, flat-panel TVs, and Xbox.But I digress. Our dear friend Benita shared this fantastic video about that mission, replete with simulations synced with still photos and audio of the astronauts who were stunned when they became the first humans to witness an “earthrise.” Thanks Benita.
  • Finally, on the health front. Here’s some news…you might be able to use. Or not. I’ll present this link, as I squirm in my chair, without further comment.




Monna Ray On May 12, 2014 at 11:01 am

Mike and Beth,

I’d like to recommend an article in the NYTs Magazine yesterday, ‘Why Should I Read About This Loser?’ Its a great commentary on contemporary society.

Have a good day. Monna

Mike On May 12, 2014 at 11:07 am

Monna! That’s on my list! I didn’t have time but it caught my eye yesterday. Thanks for the reminder.

glivingston On May 13, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Hi Mike!

Love your Mondays, but wanted to let you know that two links are not working–

The New Yorker article says that an update is in progress (for 2 days) so I will probably google and find.

The last link, which made me curious is a repeat of the earthrise video link . . .

Hope you can fix them–and greetings to Beth.


Gretchen Livingston follow the school board on my facebook page

Mike On May 13, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Huh… the New Yorker was working Monday…but I’ll check it out.

Here’s one that works as of a few minutes ago:

And yeah, sorry, I’d inadvertently repeated the second link you mentioned. It’s fixed, but you need to read it at the blog (not off the email you receive if you’re a subscriber).

Or, you can just go here:

Nancy B On May 16, 2014 at 9:57 pm

I know I’m late reading this but…..I remember that Apollo landing….I guess I was 6 and was sure that I could see them on the moon so I was out on the front porch looking….was embarrassed when my brother told me that I wouldn’t be able to see them up there.
As for the vibrating pill, hadn’t hear that yet even in my world of digestive health. Hmm. Seems easier to eat some oatmeal but some people do like a pill for everything. Here I thought the most interesting thing in digestive health is that dogs can sniff out colon cancer correctly a huge percentage of the time….so much so that in Japan someone is trying to make an “electronic dog nose” which begs the question….why don’t they just stick with the real ones…..

Robert Ringwald On May 31, 2014 at 10:33 pm

I cannot like an American League team because of the DH which takes the management/strategy of the game out of the manager’s hands.

Why do people always want to mess with success? Baseball is the best game there is. Why mess with it.

-Bob Ringwald

For a picture of me sitting in Vince Scully’s seat in the Dodger Press Box, see:

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