File under: Royale, Battle
  1. •
    Of all the sports we spend/waste our time watching, baseball has the greatest narrative storylines.
    Context: 140 years of National League baseball games, history, stories, rivalries, and heroes. 111 World Series(es). The constant and ongoing one-on-one battles between pitcher and hitter, fielder and runner, manager and game, fans and teams, cheaters and drug testing, myths and reality, hubris and outcome, 3-2 pitches, etc etc etc
  2. •
    The lovable losers on Chicago's north side are a perfect example.
  3. •
    The Cubs have not played in a World Series for the baseball championship since 1945.
    They lost to Detroit Tigers in Game 7. See Curse of the Billy Goat below.
  4. •
    When Babe Ruth 'called his shot' in the 1932 World Series, and then hit a home run, it was against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
    Cubs lost that Series.
  5. •
    They haven't won a World Series since 1908.
    "These are the saddest of possible words:/Tinker to Evers to Chance / A trio of Bear Cubs, and fleeter than birds / Tinker to Evers to Chance / Ruthlessly picking our gonfalon bubble, / Making a Giant hit into a double / Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble / Tinker to Evers to Chance.
  6. •
    The Cubs play under the "Curse of the Billy Goat"
    Chicago's Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianas was asked to leave Game 4 of the 1945 World Series at Wrigley Field because the odor of his pet goat (which he brought to games as a mascot) was bothering other fans. He is alleged to have said, "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more." They haven't.
  7. •
    The Cubs were in first place for 155 days, led their division by 9 games on Aug 19, and then fell apart losing 17 of 25 games in September to finish in second place by 8 games to the World Champion Amazin' Mets. Curse intact.
  8. •
    Bill Buckner
    Buckner was a long-time Cubs outfield who got traded to the Red Sox, another cursed franchise (at the time). He made a famous error in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the '86 World Series, allowing the Mets to rally from behind and become champions. People blamed Buckner's error and the Red Sox loss on the Cubs batting glove he was wearing under his fielder's glove. (A related 'Ex-Cub Factor' theory is whichever baseball playoff team has the fewest ex-Cubs is favored to win the World Series.)
  9. •
    The Cubs were ahead 3-0 over Marlins in Game 6 of 2003 NL Championship series, and leading 3 games to 2, with winner advancing to the World Series. Cubs were only five outs away from winning and breaking the curse until Cubs fan Steve Bartman interfered with Moisés Alou, making Alou miss a sure out. Instead, Cubs gave up 8 runs in the inning to lose, and then lost the next night too sending the Florida Nine to the Series against the Yankees. Curse intact.
  10. •
    Last year, the Cubs had the third-best record in baseball.
    They advanced to the National Leafue Championship series, only to get swept by the New York Mets. Knocking on the door, but: Curse intact.
  11. •
    This year, the Cubs are the best team in baseball.
    They won their division for first time since 2003: Bartman's year. They won 100 games for the first time since 1935. Their 103 wins were the most in Cubs history since 1910, 106 years ago. They have great pitching, a strong lineup, a deep bench and perhaps the best current manager in baseball. They have been in first place since the first game. They have the longest-suffering fans in baseball...
  12. •
    And yet.
  13. •
    The Gods of Baseball are Old Testament Gods
    Unforgiving, vengeful, unwavering, jealous, petty, vindictive, malevolent and intolerant of hubris.
  14. •
    I was reminded of their attention to detail this summer.
    AN OPEN LETTER OF APOLOGY TO THE GODS OF BASEBALL, ANNOTATED ⚾️ Which is why I'm now rooting for my childhood team the Giants rather than my favorite team, the Rockies, who suffered at the hands of the Gods of Baseball for two months with season-ending injuries and an atrocious bullpen giving away wins left and right.
  15. •
    The Cubs take the field tonight on their month-long quest for a World Series Championship.
    They first have to play the San Francisco Giants, who are themselves playing on the sun-blessed halcyon fields of the Gods of Baseball, enjoying their own remarkable narrative run of even-year championship success, but that's for @supercommonname and her Barf Bucket to document.
  16. •
    So I am very much looking forward to seeing what the Gods of Baseball have in store for long-suffering Cubs fans.
    Starting tonight.
  17. •
    The Billy Goat Curse was period appropriate and inspired, and 1969 was perfect, and the Buckner incident was cruel, and Bartman will be very, very, very difficult to top.
  18. •
    And yet...
  19. •
    The wise and wonderful Gods of Baseball have something planned for Cubs fans this month.
  20. •
    I know it. You know it.
    Cubs fans know it and fear it.
  21. •
    It will be one for the ages.
    The Curse of the Billy Goat is real, people.
  22. •
    I for one can't wait to see what happens!
    Sorry Cubs Fans!
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  24. •
    For a counterpoint theory:
  25. •
    UPDATE: Cubs win NLDS over Giants pretty easily. And as of Oct 21 they lead the Dodgers 3-games-to-2 for the National League Championship. The Gods of Baseball have Cubs fans right where they want them.
    Cubs going home needing only one win in next two games to advance to the World Series for first time since 1945.
  26. •
    UPDATE 2: Cubs destroyed Dodgers 5-0 in a masterful game to advance to the World Series for the first time since 1945. Gods of Baseball shine upon Cubs fans.
  27. •
    UPDATE 3 / Weds Nov 2 7:45 pm MDT: Cubs lead 5-1 in 5th of Game 7 of World Series over Cleveland, a mere 15 outs away from their first title in 108 years.
    Cubs trailed 3 games to 1 before winning the last two games to set up to tonight's Game 7. I believe the Gods of Baseball have Cubs fans right where they want them.
  28. •
    UPDATE 4, 10 minutes later: A pitching change to a tired Jon Lester, an error and a wild pitch and now Cubs lead 5-3 with 12 outs to go.
  29. •
    UPDATE 5, 8:48 pm, Lester has settled down and now Cubs lead 6-3 with just two innings to play... six more outs to end the longest championship drought...
  30. •
    UPDATE 6, 9:18 pm. Indians scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game 6-6 and stun Cubs fans.
    We go to the 9th inning in Game 7 tied... the entire season comes down to one (or more?) innings to go. The Gods of Baseball stand tall... who will they favor? ⚾️👀🍿
  31. •
    UPDATE 7 9:45 pm Indians need to score once in the rain in the bottom of the ninth to break hearts...
    Wait Wait
  32. •
    UPDATE 8 10:13 pm - After a 15 minute rain delay, the Cubs come up to bat in the top of the 10th with new life... and grind out a run for a 7-6 lead...and then another for an 8-6 lead... and because the Gods of Baseball wish it so, one out away from victory, the Indians come back with a run to make it 8-7...
  33. •
    The Gods of Baseball test the Cubs and Cubs fans... and have smiled upon the Cubs: 2016 World Series Champions.