Stepping up to the plate to save Chicago this weekend

October 26, 2016 • Posted in baseball, blindness, Mike Knezovich, travel, Uncategorized by

If you follow this blog, you know my husband Mike likes baseball. You also know he doesn’t like the Cubs.

Mike Knezovich is a Chicago White Sox fan. He does not think the ivy is cute — crying is OK in baseball, just not shrubbery. He doesn’t think naming a dog Wrigley is clever. He thinks the Cubs manager likes attention a little too much, and is too fond of gimmickry. And grown men posing for photos in onesie pajamas is a sign of weakness.

Last year Mike went to a Cubs-Sox game with some members of my family, including my nephew, Brian. The Sox won, the L flag came out, and Brian couldn't quite believe it (Also note Mike's ballcap:Marlins).

Last year Mike went to a Cubs-Sox game with some members of my family, including my nephew Brian. The Sox won, the L flag came out, and Brian couldn’t quite believe it (also Note Mike’s Florida Marlins hat).)

Mike Knezovich owns an “L” flag.

Earlier this month I came up with a plan. For Mike’s sake — and the sake of Chicago citizens — I’d see to it that Mike was away from Cub fans if the Cubs ended up playing at Wrigley in the World Series this year.

Cub fans are everywhere (they’re like cockroaches, Mike says). Where on earth could we go to watch those games where Cub fans would be in a minority? The home of the American League champions!

At the beginning of the playoffs, we knew we’d be traveling to Texas, Toronto, Baltimore, or Cleveland the last weekend of October. At risk of offending any blog followers who live in Texas, I rooted against the Rangers. Mike and I have always been curious about Toronto, and having never been there before, I started out pulling for them. We have good friends in Baltimore, Boston and Cleveland, though, and in the end, I am absolutely delighted to have Mike rent a car and take Whitney and me with him to Cleveland while the Indians play here at Wrigley.

Our friend Brad may drive with us, too — he’s originally from Ohio, loves staying in downtown Cleveland near museums and music halls, and with the
Indians out of town he should have no trouble finding a hotel room.

Mike, Whitney and I will stay with our friends Lauren and Bob there. Bob grew up a Brewers fan, Lauren followed the Mets, and one (of many things) that brought them together was the discovery that both buy scorecards and score every single baseball game they attend in person. Since moving to Cleveland a decade ago they’ve taken on the Indians  as their team. They have tickets to World Series games in Cleveland but will be home to watch it on TV with us during our visit.

We’ve offered our Chicago apartment out to family members (my family is full of Cub fans) to use while we’re away and are very pleased that Floey’s dad and her big brother Justin took us up on the offer. They’ll be staying here and taking public transportation to Wrigleyville, just an earshot away from Wrigley Field
while the games are being played there.

And, because Mike Knezovich will be hundreds of miles away, they should be able to enjoy their time.

Mel Theobald On October 26, 2016 at 5:15 pm

Wow…this sure is complicated. Glad you worked it all out. I wasn’t sure how it was going to end. At least Mike won’t have to suffer…much….when the Cubs win it all.

bethfinke On October 26, 2016 at 5:34 pm

That was part of the idea….


Marilee On October 26, 2016 at 6:24 pm

I love this plan! Road trip, friends, baseball.

bethfinke On October 26, 2016 at 7:03 pm

Yes, and room for Mike Czerwinski and his son Justin to have baseball fun, too –a bonus!


Marilee On October 26, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Like that too!

mike On October 26, 2016 at 7:17 pm

Yesterday on Facebook I saw a post from a friend of a friend … a couple had named their children Addison and Clark. Mike no doubt will find that adorable.

bethfinke On October 27, 2016 at 7:36 am

Oh, no! just another way Cub fans can be cuter than White Sox fans: I’ve never heard of anyone naming their kids 35th & Shields. Nor have I heard anyone calling their dog “U.S. Cellular” Sigh.


Cheryl On October 26, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Thank you!! ⚾️

bethfinke On October 26, 2016 at 8:03 pm

My pleasure!


Annelore On October 26, 2016 at 11:00 pm

How funny, I think it’s brilliant how you move around baseball – synchronizing and compromising and organizing! And everybody is happy! Have a great time!!!

bethfinke On October 27, 2016 at 7:20 am

Oh, Annelore, thank you for understanding. Probably a bit silly for me to be so proud to have come up with this idea, but for me, at least, it’s working. Looking forward to our driving trip (we’re renting a car, sold ours years ago and haven’t had a long driving trip like this for a long time). Also looking forward to being with our friends in Cleveland, they know Mike well and his sports quirks make them laugh. The older I get, the more I realize how important it is , and how good it feels, to get a big laugh whenever you can.


Janet On October 27, 2016 at 7:35 am

Mike and Justin are very much looking forward to being ‘those guys’ that Mike’s getting away from! Thank you, again!!! Bonus for me: I’ll be home, just watching that crazy crowd.

bethfinke On October 27, 2016 at 7:55 am

And I’ll be listening to that crazy Chicago crowd, too…from Cleveland!


MICHAEL GRAFF On October 27, 2016 at 9:17 am

When Ronald Reagan was shot and as his team of doctors assembled to perform emergency surgery, he said,”I hope you are all Republicans.” That drew laughs, but the lead physician replied,”today, Mr. President, we are all Republicans.” During the President’s surgery, TEMPORARILY, I too became a Republican. Mike, it might be more enjoyable for you to suspend your anti-Cub feeling at least for a few days. Either way, enjoy Cleveland.

Mike On October 27, 2016 at 9:42 am

Michael, the surgeon was wrong.

Rick On October 27, 2016 at 10:28 am

I love Mike as if he were my brother or son but he needs to get over this. We enjoyed the 2005 Sox and rooted for them and thought it was wonderful when Jerry got the ball, perhaps it’s time for Mike.

Mike On October 27, 2016 at 2:27 pm

Likewise on the brother thing, Rico. But the question is, did you root for the ’85 Bears?


Rick Marks On October 28, 2016 at 9:42 am

Other than for 1 game – yes! 44-0 if I remember correctly!

Bev Miller On October 27, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Brilliant plan!

bethfinke On October 27, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Thanks. I think so, too. And we’ll b home in time to be with you and Brian on Halloween, too.


Benita Black On October 27, 2016 at 4:08 pm

Sounds like a perfect plan. Makes me wish more than ever that the NYY had been in the post-season. Perhaps we’d have been in the running for your self-imposed exile.Have a great time in Cleveland, City of Light, City of Magic. Check out this link.

Mike On October 27, 2016 at 9:40 pm

Wish we were there! Burn on, BDB, burn on!

bethfinke On October 28, 2016 at 8:52 am

Whadd’ya mean, “perhaps” you’d have been in the running for us to visit? I was root, root, rooting for the Yankees before the end of the season to ensure a trip to NYC. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe in the off-season…? .


glivingston On October 28, 2016 at 9:48 am

Hilarious Beth and Mike–love this post. You will probably be back in time for the Cubs to win it all, but I don’t want to jinx anything! I was hoping for Baltimore as Nathan lives there now and we saw a game this summer at Camden. What a beautiful stadium–and tickets so cheap by comparison!

bethfinke On October 28, 2016 at 10:21 am

Oh, Gretchen, you are such a good sport. Thank you for supporting this grand plan I’ve come up with. Mike is fetching the rental car now, and within minutes we’ll set off for Cleveland. No need to worry about jinxes anymore with this team. Between you & me, I have a feeling the whole thing will be over by the time we return Monday. Play ball!


Bryan McMurray On October 31, 2016 at 10:57 am

I love this post! I love the fun (tho I know dear Mike is not having too much fun, well, not really true, since the Indians are still up 3 games to 2). Anyway, dear Beth, great fun post, so clever, and tho I love the Cubbies, I was just glad for the fans they got in, think they are likely to lose, and, as that great show I used to hear on NPR is titled, it’s only a game.” You guys are always up to something, I love that! Bryan


bethfinke On October 31, 2016 at 11:04 am

Bryan, You are sweet. I, too, enjoyed that NPR show “It’s Only a Game” when we lived in Urbana, but we don’t get it in Chicago. Sigh. We had a ball in Cleveland (I’m hoping Mike will write about it in his “mondays with Mike” today, it was just what the doctor ordered). We rented a car to get there and back, drove home yesterday, and were out of Ohio before last night’s Cubs game began. I’ve written to my Cub fan relatives and told them they may have to thank their goat Mike for that win last night. Mike often quotes a baseball-loving friend who says “It is important to care deeply about something that, in the end, really doesn’t matter.” Your quote is easier to remember, though: it is indeed only a game.


Mondays with Mike: Looking forward to it | Safe & Sound blog On December 12, 2016 at 4:55 pm

[…] best of all, in January, Beth and I will be headed to Edinburgh, Scotland via London. Going to Cleveland when the Cubs were playing the Indians here in Chicago in the World Series was a smashing success, and great fun. So, come inauguration day, we’ll be out of the country, […]

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