Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

How demoralizing. How dissapointing. Just when it seems the curse of the Cubs has been broken. A 3 games to two lead, the unflappable Mark Prior on the mound for game 5. There he was, into the 8th, ignoring, indeed defying, the tremendous weight of years of futility and ghostly whispers of the Cubs past. A few minutes and the Cubs are in The Series! What happened next was not supposed to, and the usually average Rick Morrissey nails it in his column today:
It has the potential to be a tale of such woe as to render all the horror stories that went before it a collection of harmless fairy tales. Of course it happened this way. Had to. The Cubs lost to the Marlins 8-3 because of a chain of events that looked like a biblical plague by the time it was over.

It started because the aforementioned gentleman deflected a foul ball along the left-field line just before Moises Alou was about to catch it in the eighth inning. The Cubs were five outs away from the World Series at the time. Alou screamed at the guy, and if you're into foreshadowing, everything pretty much went black right there. Instead of being the second out of the inning, Luis Castillo eventually walked, and the Marlins had men on first and third. It was still 3-0 Cubs, but a shiver ran up and down the spine of Wrigley Field.

And just like that, as if history had been waiting to once again knee the Cubs in a very painful, personal place, the Marlins attacked. Mark Prior, untouchable for most of seven innings, seemed to come unglued in the process. The runs came like a river, and worse, didn't seem at all concerned that the Cubs were 58 years removed from their last World Series.

A single by Ivan Rodriguez ... an error by the Cubs' Alex Gonzalez on a routine grounder ... eight runs in the inning ... some sort of record ... lots of celebrating by the Marlins. A bizarre, restless dream.

If you're keeping score, it goes: Billy Goat curse, 1969, 1984, 1989 and a swarthy guy with a chisel waiting to etch a new line on the headstone.

It was amazing, like nothing I've ever felt. 5 outs away from the World Series, the streets outside Wrigley were packed, the celebration was about to begin..... then everything changed. I could feel the life and energy sucked right out of the atmosphere, blank stares all around, Cubs fans with that familiar sinking feeling. A crowd of 50,000 walking in silence through Wrigleyville.... very, very eerie.

I fear not (yet) though, this year WILL be different, we have a fireballing Texan with a mean streak taking the mound, city and team on his back for this decisive game. I'm heading to Wrigley to bear witness. See you tomorrow.


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