Monday, October 6, 2008

Bring on Year 100

As with most Cubfans I am the eternal pessimist. A trait that I inherited from my father (a Cubfan), and presumably his father before him (a Cubfan), and so on through the male Domschke Family History. I wasn't expecting a whole lot this year, as with every year. Sure I get excited about the Cubs season after season and get disappointed season after season. As I so aptly described the plight of the Cubs back in July, when I wrote of the Cubfan "lump in the throat" that starts to worry us, Cubfans start worrying because they know things are going to go bad. It's a matter of how bad and where the blame might be placed. I think I can safely say that I was right, though the Cubs turned it back around from that 6-10 slump I wrote of in early July, they still weren't as dominant as they were in May and June. And the bats once again went quiet. No surprise here, I in no way predicted a Cub appearance in the Fall Classic.

As I told many friends in the weeks leading up to and the days following James Loney's Grand Slam/Dempster's eruption, or more accurately erosion, the Cubs aren't made for a 5 game set. I'm not saying that they would have won in a 7 game set, but losing Game 1 at Home in a 5 game set pretty much says that the series is over. Where as losing Game 1 at Home in a 7 game set is much less of a death sentence. These Cubs (07-08) are a streaky, streaky team. When things are going good, they are going great, and when things are going bad they get to awful really fast. They are far too emotional for a 5 game series. Both in 2007 and 2008 game 3 didn't even seem like it mattered to Cub player or many Cubfans. The series seemed over when Bill Buckner took over for Lee, Dan Uggla took over for DeRosa, Alex Gonzalez (2003 NLCS Gonzalez) took over for Theriot, and Aramis Ramirez was replaced by his error ridden Pirate Past in the Game 2 loss. That's the way it goes for the Cubs, and always has. I don't feel like posting the stats but look back at 2003's Bartman Game/The Inning. The Cubs still had a chance to win Game 7 in '03 but they were so deflated after after Bartman led to Gonzalez's botch job at short which led to the Golden Boy Prior getting shelled for 8 runs. The bats didn't show up to Arizona last year and when rookie Carlos Marmol had a rough outing in Game 1 (and the ensuing loss) the series ended, all emotion and momentum was gone. Thus the way it goes for the Cubs. But there is one redeeming thought for Cubfans, this was not the 100th season of Cub baseball without a World Series as people talked about all year long. It has been a rough century, but not a full century.

Now, yes "technically" the Cubs haven't won the World Series in 100 calendar years. But the key word there is calendar. True, in 1908 the Cubs won the World Series, and then only went back once, 1945, and lost. These are indelible truths and I won't argue that. But, what everyone is failing to recognize, there was no World Series in 1994. Now the Cubs may have been out of contention by the time of the Strike, but the decision had been made much earlier that a strike was eminent. There was no World Series in 1994 ergo there was no World Series for the Cubs to lose in 1994. In June, had there not been a looming Strike, maybe those Cubs would have made a stronger push for the post-season and been in Wild Card contention by September. Ask the Colorado Rockies about fire headed into the post-season and double digit setbacks in August meaning nothing. I, in no way am saying the Cubs would have won, I am not suggesting or giving credence to the "what if" argument in sports, especially not when looking in the rear-view mirror. All I am saying is that there was no chance for the Cubs to do it. So I guess my point is that while it has been 100 years since the Cubs last World Series Championship, the Cubs aren't 0/100, they're only 0/99. So I guess it hasn't really been 100 missed opportunities for the Cubs and their fans.

And to really stretch it, 1994's Strike shortened season could have just restarted the clock for everyone. Maybe it was like the reset button for everyone. So Good Luck to the 2009 Cubs and Tribe as they try to break their bad luck streaks before they reach 15 seasons without a World Series win.


Anonymous said...


You should check your facts before you say something.

In regards to the following quote, "True, in 1908 the Cubs won the World Series, and then only went back once, 1945, and lost.", you are just plain wrong.

The Cubs have been to the World Series 10 times, 7 of them after 1908, not just one.

They were in the following series,
1908 ( all of these were before the time you spoke of )
and then
1945 ( which you mentioned ).

Yeah, they lost the last 7, but they DID appear in them.