Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Now is the time to salaam before Steve Bartman

     Life is not fair.
     I hope I’m not the guy spilling the beans to you. But the best competitor and the one who wins are not always the same person.
     Baseball teaches us that. It isn’t just any player who whiffs to sink the Mudville Nine. It is the Mighty Casey.
     The team whose pitcher racked up the most number of perfect innings in a game — 12, by Pirate Harvey Haddix — also lost that game, in the 13th.
     And the Cubs … well, they’re in the playoffs now, still, in the second half of October. Acclaimed the best team in baseball, for all the good that does. Fans strode into the post-season confident in our champions who just needed to execute a few preliminaries, to sign some paperwork, the bill of lading for our long-delayed and much re-routed delivery of glory.
     Then we felt a chill.
     An apt moment to give reverence to Steve Bartman, to salaam before him, like a minor household deity. You remember Bartman. He was just another fan at Wrigley Field on Oct. 14, 2003, at Game 6 of another National League Championship Series, this one against the Florida Marlins. One out, eighth inning. Luis Castillo drives one down the left field line. Moises Alou goes after it....

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  1. Why do you say he works in your town? My understanding is that he works in another suburb, although nearby, at the company where my daughter works.

    As a side note, I'm currently in San Francisco, and I saw a bar sign advertising that Steve Bartman would be there that night; I took it with a huge grain of salt.

  2. Uh-oh. This is not good. I just watched the Cubs go down meekly again to the Dodgers, and being certain that any supposed curse was no longer a consideration with this Cubs team, clicked on EGD to take my mind off the Cubs angst that might be slowly smoldering in the recesses of my heart, only to see the name of the infamous fan from that 2003 playoff game appear before my very
    eyes. This can't be a bad omen, it just can't be. No, silly me, it's just a blog post....


    1. (P.S. Having said that, I've always felt awful that Bartman was blamed for the loss; he did nothing wrong, of course.)

  3. If they would only allow him to throw out the first pitch while wearing a goat costume, they would become the dynasty their fans have always believed them to be.....

    1. Oh ha ha.

      Bartman belongs with the billy goat, the New York black cat and all the other tiresome, lazy "curse" tropes that have made generations of Cubs fans roll their eyes so hard that they sprain their eyeballs.

      Neil, no reflection on you, I know this was an assignment. But here's hoping that next season, your bosses get a clue and take a pass on this overdone, useless crap.

  4. I was furious at Steve Bartman...for about 10 seconds. Then realized that he could not have had the least notion that the ball was catchable (still questionable after all these years) since he was hyper focused on the ball descending from the sky right into his hands, the dream of every baseball fan. I had that experience once: my hands were outstretched ready to receive the ball heading right for them (nowhere near the field of play I must add), when a guy in the seat in front of me stood up, knocking my hands away, and caught the ball. Talk about interference! I could have killed the guy.


    1. No, you have it wrong.
      That idiot was listening to the game on a headset radio, which is on a 7 second delay & thus he had no idea what was going on!

  5. Not sure how Chicago would handle a Cubs World Series victory after a century or so, but the way things are trending we maybe won't find out. Almost time to summon the sentiment expressed so memorably by the Hoosier poet, "For, of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, 'it might have been.'"

    Tom Evans

  6. All in All, I would rather have a Guaranteed Rate, than have a portion of my favorite baseball team tickets be donated to the Trump for President campaign. Perhaps if the deities of fate allow Trump to win the election, it will be a harbinger of better luck for the Cubs.


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