What billy goat? What black cat? Steve who? What curse?
It turns out that all it took to end the Cubs’ 108 year drought was an owner who was patient and willing to delegate control and a knowledgeable general manager who would hire the right manager and assemble a team with the talent, resourcefulness and resiliency to win. And, this years Cubs’ team fit the bill. Any sports fan knows that during any game bad things are likely to occur. In baseball it could be a “cheap” hit by your opponent, you hitting an “at ’em” ball at a crucial time, or an umpire missing a key call. A bad team lets that destroy them; a good team will overcome.
Steve Bartman interferes with a foul pop-up? So what, you’re still up 3-0 in the 8th inning. Your still up in the series three games to two. Don’t blame the fan. Hitch up your big-boy pants and get the guy out on the next pitch? Or, get the next batter, or the next, or the next. Rally the next inning, or win the next day. What did the Cubs do? They gave up eight runs in the inning, lost the game, and then lost the next day as well.
A black cat passes by your dugout? Is that why you blew a 9 1/2 game lead to the upstart Mets in 1969? Really? A tavern owner/fan who is kicked out of a World Series game because of his pet billy goat puts a curse on the team that lasts for over 70 years. Really? (By the way, who brings a pet goat to a baseball game anyway?) Those Cubs teams were simply not good enough. They lacked the talent, resourcefulness and resiliency that I’m talking about.
This Cubs team was assembled patiently through good drafting and smart trades. Furthermore, since most of the key players are still in their prime the team should contend for many years to come.
Congratulations to the Cubs. They had the best team over the whole season and deserved to win. They came back from being down three games to one against a gritty Indians team and survived a classic game 7, which had innumerable twists and turns – key hits, physical and mental errors, questionable managerial strategy, and even a bad call by an umpire at a pivotal moment. Both teams had their chances to win.
In my opinion it is on the short list of the best World Series game ever. I put it up there along with game 7, 1960 (Pirates beating Yankees 10-9 on Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off homer) and game 7 of the 1991 Series in which the Twins beat the Braves 1-0 in 10 innings. You may have your own favorites. Let me know.
Now, in one “fell swoop” the Cubs have gone from lovable, sympathetic underdogs to favorites. It will be interesting to see how they and their fans handle it.