One Century Down; Another to Go?

Astounding, just astounding.  The Cubs not only got swept, but barely even showed in the 2008 playoffs.  After much fanfare and anticipation of the playoffs in Chicago–not without justification, I might add–the Cubs got unceremoniously swept by the Torre-led Dodgers in three humiliating games, losing the third 3-1 last night.  An under-performing offense against a team with a good pitching staff doomed the Cubs, as did seeing Dempster, Zambrano (with no help from the defense), and Harden struggle in the three starts.  So much for the specious idea that Torre somehow needed financial incentive to succeed in the playoffs, eh Steinbrenners? It wasn’t some goat curse, it wasn’t a fan close to a foul ball, it was a team limping through a series, getting outplayed and outpitched yet again when it mattered most.  I feel for Cubs fans, I really do.  A century is a long, long time to have awaited a championship.  It’s just that the realm of the ethereal and unprovable is responsible.  The tangible, observable, and all-too familiar by now is.

The Rays and Red Sox look to finish off sweeps themselves today.  Admittedly, I have had too many other things going on, but I’m not sure how immersed I would have been in the playoffs anyway.  I root for the Yankees, and there’s everybody else.  On occasion, a team will grab my fancy and I’ll loosely root for them.  I won’t lose a lot of sleep if the Rays won it, for Maddon has that team playing hard and well for real.  They’ve earned it after an amazing turnaround from a decade of being doormats of the AL East.  I also like Torre though not the Dodgers and that quitter-turned-savior Manjaya.  Essentially, I have no horse in this year’s baseball playoffs and, without the Yanks in it, that’s fine with me.

Published in: on October 5, 2008 at 11:43 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I put up the curse, because it’s a good story, but that’s all it is…a story.

    Good point by Vaccaro (and written before Game 3). Once again Torre gets the better of Lou (2000 ALCS, 2001 ALCS [over a 116-win Mariner team]) and here. Not only do the Cubs lose, they get swept…again, and as Vaccaro writes, a few years ago, Lou was the “chic” replacement for Torre.

    Remembering Lou I and Lou II, I wasn’t on that bandwagon. Girardi, Donnie, Pena, others…I could see. One thing I did write about last year that I didn’t like was that there were no “out of house” interviews. Only three people. I clearly would have interviewed a few more people. But that was then, this is now.

    Living in Eastern PA (and among Philly rooters, for I can’t stand Philly teams) as well as being a Yankees fan, I have one request: If it is a Red-Sox/Phillies WS, shoot me. Barring that, send me to Mars for two weeks or so. J/K.

  2. I don’t see a Red Sox/Phillies WS. My crystal ball says the Dodgers will be in it. (I’m rooting for Torre and Donnie and even good old Scott Proctor!!) I miss watching Yankees baseball so the Dodgers are as close as I can get right now. Sigh. I like the Rays too.

  3. It is a story for logical fans like us and others, Mike. For some in the Chicago market, however, it’s something they’ve concocted and treat as a living, breathing thing. It’s a little scary to witness, like being immersed in Red Sox country before 2004. Nor was I on the Pinella bandwagon. He’s not horrible, but is prone to overly dramatic blowups and his teams to under-performing in the playoffs. I too speculated about going outside the organization, as Torre was–and Torre initially interviewed for the GM position before the team thought he’d be better suited as manager. A wider pool is often better. You never know who might impress. If Philly ends up in the WS, I suspect you’ll invest in ear plugs and avoid a good many stations, Mike. The 1993 World Series must have been brutal for you.

    I don’t have much against the Rays yet, Jane. Sure, there was Cervelli’s getting plowed in ST, but the team has earned where they are now. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Torre have that team playing its best into the Series. Nor could I begrudge Donnie Baseball a ring, even if it wouldn’t be for the Yanks.

  4. Yeah, wouldn’t that be ironic for #23?

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