This picture is of our very own Larry Wert throwing out the first pitch at Wrigley Field on Monday night before the Cubs and Brewers. I'm sure he wishes he could have it back though. The pitch sailed past the catcher and right to the backstop. Not the best way to get things started, but you couldn't help but laugh. He came off the field and had a good chuckle about it, got patted on the back and had the look on his face of "Oh well." (shrug shoulders here).
He was a good sport about it and I could make fun of him for his effort, but nope! I'm going to be nice. Instead, let's break down the fundamentals, figure out what went wrong, and help him out.
Maybe I could get a raise for being so helpful. (or maybe not)
Footwork: Check out his left foot. It points towards the Cub dugout. That needs to be straight towards the plate. That will provide for more accuracy. Plus, the extension on his plant foot has to be farther. By stretching out more, it will force the downward slope of the mound to bring his arm down. As a result, he'll be able to keep it in the strikezone.
Arm angle: It's pretty sharp, the "L" lock of his elbow is good. However, compared to where his feet are, he should have his arm farther into the throwing motion. By keeping it behind his head at that point in the motion, it means he's going let the ball go at the high point. That's why it sailed away. Keep the shoulder even and the throwing arm should fly through the zone quicker.
Jersey: Now normally I'd say tuck it in. But not with jeans. That's a big no-no (just ask Chicago native and columnist Michael Wilbon). Plus, he's got the look a grindy, scrappy player! So I'm going to let that go.
All in all, it's a great photo of him in action and dammit all, he threw it from the mound. That's a MAN'S first pitch! Thanks to Beth for letting me snag it off her Facebook page.
**Yesterday, you may have caught our reports when one of our co-workers cut a tire on the Stevenson and waited for help. She called us at 4:57 AM. We let IDOT know right after that. An hour later, we hear it called out on the scanners. 15 minutes later, they show up to help. She finally pulled away at 6:29 AM.
In that hour and a half, we had nothing else going on. IDOT didn't have anythng else to attend to, and they blamed their tardiness on a shift change. Plus, they said only one truck was going up and down the expressway at that time.
In an hour and a half, how many times do you think you can drive out to the Tri-State and back on the Stevenson at 5 AM? (Exactly!)
**How do you know when summer is over? For us it's that first really awful day on the roads for no reason. Clearly the combination of kids being back and school and the economy improving made a difference today. It was a mess this morning, hour long travel times and beyond. The Ike was 90 minutes for a little bit.
What's the cause? No reason. A heavy volume, a little sun glare and the middle day of the week can make all the difference when people have jobs to go to. Plus, we had a few problems on the Jane Addams, the south end of I-55, and the Tri State. The Tri State semi crash made a mess of the Southland big time.
**If you haven't noticed, a couple months ago we dropped our music jingle for travel times. We want to bring back some music to spice it up. A couple ideas so far, but we're trying to keep it light and fun. So any suggestions would be helpful.
Also, new graphics are coming in about a month! I'm really getting excited about this. The images are going to be sharp, the views will be different. It will be flashy and we'll be able to put more information on the screen than we ever have. The system is more flexible and you'll be able to see why if you watch us every day.
**Thursday Traffic Trivia is tomorrow. Still haven't picked a good question yet, so I'll work on that today. Keep your ideas coming.