Illuminations, Epiphanies, & Reflections
Do the Cubs Really
Of course, the Cubs suck.
Rockwell knew they sucked.
Everyone outside of Chicago knows they
Actually, everyone outside of the Chicago northside knows
that they suck.
Come to think of it, even Cubs fans know they
suck; just look at their faces in the Rockwell painting.
The Cubs especially suck when compared to the Cardinals.
Did you know that the Cubs and Cardinals have played each other three
for the baseball world championship? They have, back in 1876,
1886. The Cubs were
then known as the--believe it or not--Chicago White Stockings, and the
Cardinals were called the St. Louis Brown Stockings.
In 1876, the top two teams in the National Leauge, the Brown
Stockings/Cardinals and the White Stockings/Cubs, played five
additional games to determine the "Championship of the West." St.
Louis won four games to one.
In the 1880s, baseball had
two major leagues, the National League, of which the White
were a part, and the American Association, in which the Brown
played. The championship series between those leagues was then
known as the "World's Championship Series." The
Cardinals, as you'd
probably expect, defeated the Cubs both times.
But that's ancient history; then again, so is 1908. However, if
you want to compare both teams' World Championships, you have to
consider baseball's earliest years, because the Chicago Cubs have not
won one since then. Here's how it breaks out:
Cubs' World Championships:
Three total - 1882, 1907, 1908
The Cubs, though, do hold two impressive World
Championships: Thirteen total - 1876, 1885, 1886, 1926,
1934, 1942, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967, 1982, 2006
Series Championship Drought Ever - 100 years
World Series Championship Drought - 100 years
The Cubs have fared just a little better in winning league championship
pennants, having a few
good runs well over 60 years ago, but nothing since. Of course,
still come up short of the Cardinals again.
Cubs' League Championships:
16 total - 1876, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1885, 1886, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910,
1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938, 1945
Championships: 21 total - 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1926, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1934, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967,
1968, 1982, 1985, 1987, 2004, 2006
Guess which major league team holds the current
League Championship drought records. Yep, the Cubs:
Championship Drought Ever - 62 years
Longest Current League Championship Drought - 62 years
Memorable Moments in Cubs History
|In the first
year of the White Stockings' (remember, that was the Cubs' original
name) existance, fire destroys its Union Base-Ball Grounds as well as
all of the team's uniforms and equipment. The team played a
couple of more games appearing "in suits of various hues and makes,
ludicrous to the extreme," until it went completely broke and dropped
baseball for two years.
plays its first game against a St. Louis team, the Brown Stockings,
whose name will later be purchased by Chris von der Ahe and eventually
changed to the Cardinals. An overflow crowd at Grand Avenue Park
(later to be known as Sportsman's Park and Busch Stadium) watches St.
Louis win 4-3.
reports, "For the first time in
the history of baseball in Chicago, the national game has been
disgraced by a palpable and unbelievable fraud." Rumblings
about the team's underworld gambling connections began after
a mid-season game with the New York Mutuals when the New
York Times reported that the White Stockings' pitcher "was wonderfully
and woefully wild
in his delivery of the ball and persisted in putting it clear over the
catcher's head. . . . Chicago played disgracefully; they not only
did not hold the ball, but acted as if they would just as soon muff it
as not." The final score was New York 38 - Chicago 1. Subsequent
thrown games against New York and Philadelphia created a hostile
atmosphere for the players who required police protection during games
from assaults by fans and gamblers.
||Chicago fans begin their long-standing,
love-hate relationship with the the future Cubs, bestowing three
nicknames upon the team that reflect both the White Stockings' poor
play and their
illicit activities, "The Bragging Professionals," "Malone's
and "Gassette's Gang." Newspaper articles report, "the public treat the
nine so that no man of any self-respect can hold a position on it. . .
. for if they win they are good fellows, but if they lose thay are
muffers and rascals. They are abused without stint unless they
conquer every foe. . . ."
Chicago police lead home-town fans in a physical assault on the
St. Louis Brown Stockings' Vice-President and his entourage. During the
follow-on trip to St. Louis, the White Stockings expected Chicago-style
violence in retaliation
but were relieved to find that they were only subjected to "disgraceful
remarks," especially following a triple play when two Chicago players
became confused after a swinging third strike and were tagged out at
the plate trying to steal home.
the first professional baseball championship ever to be played as the
team is defeated by St. Louis four games to one. St. Louis is
crowned the Champion of the West.
Cincinnati Red Stockings refuse to continue a game in Chicago until
unruly and violent outfield fans are brought under control. Once they
are, play continues, and Cincinnati wins 9-8.
|Led by their
manager and star
first baseman, Cap Anson, the White Stockings
refuse to take the field against Toledo because the Blue Stockings have
a mixed-race player, Moses Fleetwood Walker, in the line-up. Cap
Anson, by the way, holds the major league record for most total errors
ever committed by a first baseman. Also, Anson never did get over
3,000 hits; 60 of his "hits" in the 1887 season were actually "bases on
by Charlie Comiskey, St. Louis defeats Chicago in the World's
Spalding, the White Stocking's owner, hires a stable of detectives to
upon the nefarious activities of many of the team's players including
King Kelly, Ned Williamson, Silver Flint, and Billy Sunday.
Louis again defeats Chicago in the World's Championship Series.
|The White Stockings once more refuse to
take the field against an integrated team, this time, the Newark Little
Giants. Unbeknownst to the White Stockings when they initially
signed the contract to play the game, the Little Giants starting
pitcher, George Stovey, was a black man. Cap
Anson minces no
words and screams in a rage, "Get that nigger off the field!"
Stovey does not play, the major league color-line is drawn, and Cap
Anson becomes forever known as "The Father of Segregated Baseball."
the White Stocking's World Tour of 1888-1889, the team takes along a
"mascot," Clarance Duval, a black youngster who wore funny hats,
twirled a baton, and sang "coon songs" to entertain both the players
and the spectators. While cruising through the Indian Ocean, the ship's
crew spotted a 15-foot man-eating shark just off the ship's bow.
Deciding to catch the fish, the crew began to prepare a stout
rope with a large hook on the end. Much to Duval's terror, Cap
Anson immediately attempted to convince both team and crew to use the
young man as shark bait, and Anson had to be restrained from
tossing the little fellow overboard.
|After first being promised and
then swindled out of part-ownership of the franchise by A. J.
Spalding, Cap Anson figuratively stabs Spalding in the back by
assisting Charlie Comiskey, the team's ex-Cardinal nemisis from the
1885 and 1886 World Championships,
establishing an American League team in Chicago and stealing the name,
White Stockings or White Sox. Recognizing Anson's abandonment of
his old team, the newpapers quickly nicknamed the northsiders the
Orphans, which was soon changed to the Spuds. In 1902, a newpaper
man was consistently unable to fit Spuds into his allotted headline
space and arbitrarily renamed the the team as the Cubs.
| James Hart,
the Cubs President, makes public allegations that his club's
post-season series with the White Sox in 1903 for the Championship of
Chicago had been fixed by Cubs players, who had been
bought by gamblers.
|The White Sox
defeat the Cubs in the World Series.
|On 2 May,
Cubs pitcher, Hippo Vaughn, throws a no-hitter against the Cincinnati
Reds. Unfortunately, the Red's pitcher, Fred Torey, also throws a
no-hitter, and the Cubs lose the ballgame 1-0.
Hugh Fullerton, the newspaper man who was later to unravel the Black
Sox scandal of 1919, discovers and reports that the heavily favored
Cubs intentionally threw the 1918 World Series to the Red Sox, but his
ignored, and the developing scandal was overwhelmed by war news from
Europe. However, two Cubs stars,
Shufflin' Phil Douglas and Claude Hendrix, were eventually forced out
baseball for cheating.
are caught attempting to fix a game against the last place Philadelphia
Phillies. Pitcher Claude Hendrix, the ringleader, was never
allowed to play again.
|Cubs give up
on starting pitcher, Grover Cleveland Alexander, and trade him to the
Cardinals. In his first game with the Cardinals, Alexander
pitches a four-hit victory over the Cubs. Later that year,
Alexander becomes the Cardinals' World Series hero when after beating
the Yankees in Game 6, he returns in Game 7 to strike out Lazzeri with
the bases full and win the series for St. Louis. The following
year Alexander wins 21 games for the Cardinals.
by seven runs, the Cubs give up ten runs in one inning and lose Game 4
of the World Series to the Philadelphia Athletics when outfielder,
Hack Wilson, loses sight of Mule Haas's routine fly ball and lets it
roll all the way to the fence, turning into an inside-the-park three
|After suffering through
incessant abuse from Cubs fans (and the Cubs' dugout too) during Game 3
of the World Series, Babe Ruth has finally had enough of Chicago and
points to centerfield. As he does, the Cubs fans begin to boo and
continue to boo until the Bambino
hits the next pitch over the fence for a home run. Ruth's "called
shot" silences the ballpark.
watching Cardinal's star pitcher, Dizzy Dean, dominate the league
throughout the 1930s, owner P.K. Wrigley insists he be purchased from
Louis "at any cost" to bolster the Cubs World Series chances.
After the Cubs pay St. Louis the then unheard of price of $185,000,
Dizzy loses Game 2 of the series against the Yankees. The
following year Dean's record was 6-4; in 1940 it was 3-3; and he was
out of baseball by 1941.
|The heavily favored Cubs welcome a flamboyant
local tavern owner, Sam Siannis, to parade around the field before Game
4 of the World Series with his pet goat, which is wearing a blanket
sign reading, "We've got Detroit's goat." Following the
spectacle, P. K. Wrigley then refuses to allow Siannis and his goat to
occupy the two box seats for which he has already purchased
tickets. "The goat stinks," Wrigley allegedly says as he has
Siannis and his pet ejected from the ballpark. As Siannis leaves,
he curses the Cubs from ever playing in another World Series as long as
Wrigley Field is their home. Later after the Cubs lose the
series, Siannis sends Wrigley a short note, "Who stinks now?"
|On 30 April
1949, the Cardinals' rookie first baseman, Rocky Bridges, pops a short
flyball into left field. The Cubs left fielder, Andy Patko, dives
for the ball, trapping it against the turf. Umpire Al Barlick
immediately rules that there was no out and that the ball remains in
play. Patko, claiming that he had made the catch, demonstrates
how the ball had been caught snugly in his glove while arguing his case
with Barlick. Bridges, meanwhile, circles the bases for an
inside-the-park homerun as all of the Cubs concentrate on the
confrontation in left field.
Phil Cavarretta, becomes the first major league manager ever fired
during Spring Training when he honestly answers P.K. Wrigley's
questions about the team's chances of winning the pennant.
"Defeatist attitude," Wrigley later explains. The Cubs finish the
season in seventh place in the eight team league.
|On 30 June,
Stan Musial walks on a wild pitch and attempts to advance when he
realizes that the Cubs can't find the ball. Some how, two Cubs
players finally locate two different baseballs, and both throw them to
a confused second baseman. St. Louis wins the game 4-1.
that "Managers are expendable," owner P.K. Wrigley
employs a revolutionary strategy in which the Cubs are directed by a
committee of four men--known as the College of Coaches--who
collectively make on-field decisions for the team. The College compiled
a 64-90 record in 1961. In 1962, it was even worse. Led by Ernie
Banks, Billie Williams, and Ron Santo, the Cubs finished dead last with
a record of 59-103, 42.5 games out of first place.
|The Cubs give up on their young outfielder,
Lou Brock, and trade him to the Cardinals for pitcher, Ernie
Broglio. Brock bats .348 for the Cardinals during the remainder
of the year, steals 38 bases, and plays a significant role in the
Cardinals World Series victory over the Yankees. Brock goes on to
star for the Cardinals until his retirement in 1979. Broglio
compiles a 7-19 record for the Cubs over the next four years and is out
of baseball by 1967.
|On 9 Sep
1965, Cubs pitcher, Bob Hendley, throws a one-hitter against the Los
Angeles Dodgers. Unfortunately for Cubs fans, Sandy Koufax
pitches a perfect game, and the Cubs lose 1-0.
|On 13 Sep
1964, Cubs fans are treated to a rare feat in which one team, the
Cardinals, score at least one run in every inning of a nine-inning game
as they defeat the Cubs by a score of 15-2 at Wrigley Field.
their 20th consecutive year of finishing in the bottom half of the
|After leading New York by 9.5 games in
mid-August, the Cubs are facing the Mets in Shea Stadium when a black
cat enters the field, saunters in front of the Cubs dugout, and calmly
circles third baseman, Ron Santo, who is standing in the on deck
circle. The Cubs lose the game and begin a late season collapse,
eventually finishing 8 games out of first.
|On 24 August,
Ernie Banks hits his final career home run, #512, in yet another futile
Cubs loss. Banks, the greatest Cub player of all-time, plays his
entire 18-year major league career with the Cubs and never makes it
into post-season play. On 31 Mar 2008, in typical Cubs fashion,
the team unveils a statue of their hero only to discover at the
ceremony that the inscription on its base contains a grammatical error.
of the New York Mets hits a screeching rocket home run that lands 550
feet from home plate on a third-story porch roof on the east
side of Kenmore Avenue.
the Phillies 13-2 after four innings, the Cubs give up 16 runs and lose
the game 18-16.
Mike Schmidt hits a home run in the 10th inning to beat the Cubs 23-22.
trade Bruce Sutter, the best relief pitcher in
the National League, to St. Louis for Ken Reitz and Leon Durham.
Sutter helps lead St. Louis to a World Championship in 1982 and a
National League Pennant in 1985. Reitz never plays a game for the
Cubs, and drug problems prevent Leon Durham from
realizing his full potential.
season and a half of abysmal attendance and constant fan abuse of the
team (especially from the bleachers), Cubs Manager Lee Elia discusses Cubs
fans during a press conference. (Please cover your kiddies' ears.
You have time, it will take a while to download.)
|After going up two games to none in the best of five
National League Championship Series, the Cubs collapse completely. Leon
Durham commits a between-the-legs error that
loses Game 5 and earns him the undying hatred of Cubs fans for all time.
|A young woman
walking near "the friendly confines" of Wrigley Field is abducted,
raped, mutilated, raped again,
September, Cubs pitcher, Randy Myers, is attacked on the mound by a
27-year old Cubs fan who ran onto the playing field because he was
disturbed by Myers' performance.
establish a Wrigley tradition when they litter the field with trash and
garbage and throw bottles at Colorado
players after a controversial call in a 6-1 loss to the Rockies.
A Jack Daniels bottle narrowly misses centerfielder, Darryl Hamilton. While throwing trash, garbage,
and bottles had occassionally happened at Wrigley before, it now
becomes a regular occurance following many, if not all, arguable calls.
Cubs initiate a Macho Men game night tribute to the disco years and
current Cub stars dress up as their favorite Village
People to promote the event in newspaper ads. You have to view a
larger version of this ad to really appreciate it, so click on the
|On 16 May,
Cubs fans assault Dodgers' catcher, Chad Kreuter,
striking him in the back and stealing his baseball cap. Krueter and
teammates chased the fans into the stands and recovered the hat.
Several Cubs fans ended up bruised and in jail.
|Wrigley Field comes in second place in a local
poll to determine the
"Best Place to Be Seen" in all of Chicago. Of course, actually
watching a ballgame or--God forbid, understanding what was going
on--didn't enter into the award consideration, since those things
aren't important to about half the folks at Wrigley on any given
day. Bring on the Old Styles; we can have a "Right Field Sucks -
Sucks" contest in the bleachers; no, let's just check out the babes; or
we can take off
clothes and run onto the field. Party on, Garth.
|On 15 April,
a Cubs fan who had spent the afternoon getting drunk in the Wrigley
bleachers attends a White Sox game later that evening where he jumps
onto the field and assaults first base umpire, Laz Diaz. The
man's girlfriend later told the press that she couldn't understand why
her boyfriend was at a Sox game since he was a true-blue Cubbie fan.
|Leading three games to two at Wrigley Field in
the National League Championship Series, the Cubs enter the eighth
inning against the Marlins
3-0. The Marlin's lead off with a double, and then the second
batter pops a lazy fly off third base. The ball drifts just
into the first row of the stands but left fielder Moises Alou still
has a play. He jumps, reaching for the ball, but Steve
Bartman gets to it first, and all Alou can do is throw a minor
tantrum. That play so rattled the Cubs pitcher, Mark Prior, that
he gave up three quick runs. By the time the inning was over, the
Marlins led 8-3, and Bartman had to be escorted through a hail of
garbage, bottles, trash, and obscenities by security guards who feared
life. Cubs fans posted Bartman's name and personal information on
their fan message boards within minutes of the incident,
prompting Governor Rod Blagojevich to recommend that Bartman
voluntarily join the
Illinois Witness Protection Program for his safety. Oh, the Cubs
then dropped the next two games and the series,
four games to three.
|Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa
is ejected from a game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays when his corked
bat explodes as he hits a ground ball to second base. Sosa later
explains that he didn't know how he happened to pick a corked bat from
the rack. Later in the year, Sosa ends up on the Disabled List
after injuring himself by sneezing in the dugout.
|Losing his cool over his poor performance in
the first inning, Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano intentionally hits
Cardinal outfielder Jim Edmonds to load the bases. In his
very next at bat, Edmonds launches a Zambrano fastball deep into the
Wrigley outfield seats. As Carlos goes bonkers on the mound
screaming at Edmonds, Jimmy slowly trots around the bases enjoying
Zambrano's agitation. Later, after Scott Rolen has slammed
another blast into the bleacher seats, Zambrano completely flips out
and is finally ejected from the game by the umpires after intentionally
hitting Jim Edmonds on the very next pitch.
their fans celebrate the team's first back-to-back winning seasons in
|Two Cubs fans murder a White Sox fan after a
day game just outside of Wrigley Field near the Cubby Bear Bar in the
heart of Wrigleyville. After nearly running over the man in their
SUV, the Cubs fans got out of their car and began to assault him.
When the man struck back with a small minature souvenir bat he had
bought the game, one of the Cubs fans fatally shot him.
Field helps the White Sox celebrate bringing a World
Series Championship to the city of Chicago as the Cubs drought
stretches to 97 years and counting.
|On 16 May, a
drunken Wrigley bleacher bum attempts to smash the face of outfielder,
Jacques Jones, who had been struggling at the plate and on the
basepaths. The fan waited until Jones had turned his head and
then fired a baseball directly at Jacques' face, barely missing him and
avoiding severe injury. What was the bleacher fan doing with a
baseball. In Wrigley, bleacher fans bring cheap baseballs from
home into the
park. Then when someone from an opposing team hits a home run,
the fan who catches it pretends to throw it back on the field.
Actually, the bleacher fans usually keep the homerun balls, and throw
baseballs that they brought into the park onto the filed instead.
begin their 99th year without winning a World Championship, the longest
such drought ever in any sport. But this year, incensed by the
Cardinal's 2006 World Series Championship, the team vows it
will buy a championship by signing on to $296,000,000 in free agent
contracts before the season starts and renewing Carlos Zambrano's
contract for $91,000,000.
|Cubs "ace" pitcher, Carlos Zambrano, having a
rough beginning to his year with a 5-5 record and 5.62 ERA, again goes
wacko in the
dugout during a game after giving up five runs in a loss
to Atlanta. After Cubs catcher Michael Barrett allows a run to
score on a passed ball and throwing error into left field, Zambrano
sucker punches Barrett in the Cubs dugout in full view of the fans and
|After the Cubs capture first place in the
Central Division with a paltry 85 wins, Chicago fans go wild and kill a
hanging it from the Harry Caray statue at Wrigley Field in preparation
for Game 1 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Police arrive too
late to save the goat, and no one is charged with any crime. When
the goat sacrifice doesn't work, and the Diamondbacks take a 1-0 lead
in the series, Cub fans come prepared the next night for Game 2,
bringing a flashing neon sign with which they attempt to distract the
Diamondback pitcher from behind homeplate. Cubs again
loose. For Game 3 at Wrigley, nearly 100% of the Cubs fans wear
their baseball caps turned inside-out and upside-down in some odd
belief that this will inspire their team to victory. It
doesn't. Cubs lose again as the Diamondbacks sweep the series and
celebrate on the Wrigley infield.
|During an early season game against the
Cincinnati Reds, drunken Cubs fans litter the playing field with
nearly twenty baseballs (that they had brought from home) following an
Adam Dunn home run. Hall of Fame broadcaster, Marty Brennamin,
was calling the game on WLW and could no longer contain his disgust for
Cubs fans, "This
is the kind of thing, quite honestly, right now, that makes you want to
see the Chicago Cubs team lose. Among all baseball fans . . . far and
away the most obnoxious fans in baseball, in this league, are those who
follow this team right here." The next day, during a
interview on a Chicago sports radio station, Brennamin further endears
himself to Cubs fans when he compares them to fans of the Cardinals,
"Cardinals fans are hands down the best in baseball.
They respect the game. They don't go to the game to do stupid stuff."
|Cubs fans welcome the team's first Japanese
player, Kosuke Fukudome, by making a "racist" t-shirt the number one
best selling souvenir at Wrigley field. As noted in the Sun-Times, the shirt shows the
"traditional Cubs cartoon bear face but with slanted eyes and wearing
oversized Harry Caray-style glasses. It's accompanied by the words
'Horry Kow,' scrawled in cartoonish 'Japanese' script. Fukudome's name
and number are on the back." The paper goes on to lament that the
shirt "sends a raw, vulgar message about Fukudome's new hometown. . . .
[and] feeds . . . the stereotype [an accurate one, by the way] of the
obnoxious, profane, drunken, booing, garbage-throwing Cubs fan."
Through an interpreter, Fukudome expressed a sad resignation about
the shirt, noting that "I expected something like this. . . . But
if I make a big deal out of it, it's not going to benefit me, so I'm
not going to make a big deal of it.''
|In late July,
three Cubs fans attack a White Sox fan who is attending his niece's
birthday party. They beat the poor fellow senseless because they
claimed, he had a full set of teeth and White Sox fans are supposed to
be toothless. While the White Sox fan was down, at least one of
the Cubs fans kicked and stomped his face with steel-toed boots [no
doubt a clothing choice of many sophisticated Cub fans] until his cheek
bones were shattered and he had lost an eye. The Cubs fans were
arrested and charged with mob action and aggravated battery.
|In a late
July ballgame, Ryne Sandberg's minor league Cubs team, the Peoria
Chiefs, launch an all-out assault on the Dayton Dragons and their
fans. After pitcher, Julio Castillo, is ejected from the game for
intentionally hitting two Dragon batters, including one in the head, Sandberg's
principal coach and assistant manager physically attacks the
unwary Dragon's manager. In the melee that ensues, Julio Castillo
demonstrates that he is better suited to be a Cubs fan than a Cubs
ballplayer when he fires a baseball point blank into
the head of a
seated fan who required hospitalization. Castillo was
subsequently arrested and charged with felonious assault. The
following week, the Cubs honor Sanderg and the Peoria franchise by
to play at Wrigley Field. No comment was forthcoming from Ryne
Sandberg while at Wrigley other than to bemoan the fact that he had
missed the game against the Dragons and to claim the fight would not
occured had he been present to manage his team.
a game against the Brewers at Miller Park on 30 Jul 08, Cubs fans begin
throwing beer bottles at Brewers fans from the window of a chartered
in a stadium parking lot. When one Brewer fan responds by
tossing a Red Bull can at the side of the bus, the driver stops to
let a group of Cubs fans off to chase down and assault the Brewer
fan. Two Cubs fans are subsequently arrested and charged with
substanial battery. The severely injured
Brewer fan required facial
surgery. One of the Cub fans was also charged with disorderly
conduct, assault and battery, resisting arrest, and possession of drug
paraphernalia in connection with his attack on a women at the
|The day after Carlos Zambrano, the Cubs ace
pitcher, brags to the press about his bizarre good-luck pre-game ritual
of pounding infielder Mike Fontenot's head with his fist and then
carrying him piggy-back through the dugout, Cardinal batters, in turn,
pound Zambrano at the plate. Zambrano, gives up 9
earned runs (including 4 home runs) in four innings before being pulled
in an August game at Wrigley Field. The Big
Z's ERA jumps from 2.76 to 3.32, and the Cardinals win the game
12-3. It is unreported what, if any, damage Zambrano did to
containers, equipment, walls, Mike Fontenot, or other teammates in
route to the showers. Zambrano ends the regular season by
refusing to pitch in his last scheduled game after giving up 13 earned
runs over 6 innings in his previous two starts.
|Inspired by the insanely optimistic boosterism
of Cubs announcer Ron Santo, fans again obnoxiously proclaim with
unrealistic certainty that their team will win a World Series
championship as they begin post season play. Manager Lou Piniella
is in an arrogant mood too, enjoying his team's "swagger." "It
[makes] me feel good. . . . That's what you want," he tells the
press. Cubs Chairman, Crane Kennedy, however is not so certain,
so he hires the Reverend Father James L. Greanias, a Greek Orthodox
priest, to visit Wrigley Field before game one and sprinkle the
place with holy water to break the remnants of any possible
curses. Unfortunately for the Cubs, neither prayers nor swagger
win ballgames, and once
more, Cubs fans' hopes are destroyed as the Dodgers crush the Cubbies
in the first two games of the series at Wrigley. After Piniella
tagged Ryan Dempster--who had predicted a Worlds Series championship
for the Cubs the first day of Spring Training--to be the first game
starting pitcher, the Dodger whacked him for 7 runs. The
night, Carlos Zambrano held true to his late season form and gave up
6 runs early. His loss, however, was in part due to horrendous fielding
by the error-prone Cubs infield. By the middle of the second
game, the Cubs fans had turned on their team, and boos began to thunder
from the stands. Two days later at Dodger Stadium, the Cubs
meekly went down to defeat in the third and final game of the series by
the score of 3-1 (as Alfonso Soriano struck out swinging at pitch in
the dirt), having lost their 9th consecutive playoff game. "Noooooooooo," wailed Ron. So much for Dempster's
Piniella's swagger, and Kennedy's holy water. Immediately following
their third loss, the Cubs players destroyed the visiting dugout, and
in keeping with Cubs culture, General Manager Jim Hendry offered no
apologies. "To me, that is not even an issue," Hendry said. The next
day, Cubs fans erected a
Loser Shrine outside of Wrigley Field.
Cubs begin their 101st year without winning a championship, and at the
abominable Harry Cary statue that sits outside Wrigley field, Cubs fans
once more sacrifice a goat, resurrecting a tradition they began during
the 2007 post-season. This time, however, the Sun-Times reports
that unlike 2007, only the goat's head was hung from one of Harry's
outstretched arms. Truly astounding! Truly futile.|
upon baseball's annual Jackie Robinson appreciation day, the Sun-Times
brands Wrigley Field as the "unfriendly confines," noting that "crowds
at Wrigley . . . are considered among the worst by African- American
players for [their] racist element. . . ." The paper goes on to recount
a laundry list of recent Cubs who have endured racist threats and
taunts from their "fans:" Jacques Jones, LaTroy Hawkins, Dusty
Baker, Derrek Lee, Alphonso Soriano, and other players who asked not to
be identified. |
27 June, the Cubs set what is believed to be a seasonal major league
record for attacking Gatorade dispensers. After a bad at bat in
the sixth inning, the Cubs latest off-season "superstar" acquisition
who was sure to bring them a World Series championship, Milton Bradley,
became the fourth Cub to do so in 2009 following Carlos Zambrano (who
took a bat to one earlier in the year), Ryan Dempster (who tried to
destroy one with his hands), and Carlos Marmol (who threw one across
the dugout). After shattering his batting helmet and tossing the
Gatorade container ala Marmol, Bradley "mumbled" some uncomplimenatry
comments about the team as he stomped into the clubhouse where he was
chased down and confronted by manager Lou Piniella, who--according to
the Sun-Times--screamed, "You're not a player, you're a piece of shit!"
then ordered Bradley to take off his uniform and leave the ballpark.
"He told me
to get out of here, so I left," Bradley said. "Then he continued to
yell at me some more." On a side note, MLB.com noted that at the
time of the incident, Bradley was leading the major leagues in broken
batting helmets. |
|Wrigley Field and Its Fans
Field is a bad ballpark!"
Ferguson "Fergie" Jenkins, Chigaco Cubs
Hall of Fame pitcher
"You wish that Chicago'd build a new stadium. . . ."
- Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs "Ace"
fans go there to party and drink and sing 'Take Me Out to the
Ballgame.' Then they don't give a crap about what happens the
rest of the game. They just want to look up and see who is
singing during the seventh inning stretch. As soon as the song is
over, they get up and leave. . . . Most Cubs fans just want to be
on camera and take their shirts off and drink some beer.
- Ozzie Guillen, the man who brought Chicago a Worlds Series Championship
they blew up Wrigley tomorrow, it wouldn't
bother me at all. That
ivy is nasty, . . . and they definitely have
the most vulgar fans."
- Lance Berkman,
Houston Astros future Hall of