[Cubs fans, the dead spot in Piniella’s line-up?]
For those of you wondering why the first two Cub NLDS games were not covered in this space, the only reason is that I was in Mexico all week. Given that they lost the first two games at Wrigley, I would be forced to criticize at length the nothing at-bats, multiple run/multiple error innings from another country, or as Fox News would put it, protesting America from foreign soil. I’m home now, in Cheney protected territory. Before I start, a few observations on travel to Mexico. Like many of you, I listen to Rush Limbaugh. But if you go to Mexico, don’t use the phrases “el jerko,” “el cheapo,” or “el scrammo.” THESE ARE NOT REAL SPANISH WORDS. You will only embarrass yourself … it, uh, happened to a guy I know.
[Cub Pride: The real Manny being Manny]
Anyway, from what I did see in the land down under, the biggest error of game one were the utterly lame fans at Wrigley. In hindsight, I totally disagree with Piniella’s attempt to lower fan expectations. The Wrigley Faithless sat thru the first game like they showed up to lose. All season long I have made fun of the Our Year Is Over mentality when 3 games in a row were lost or the It’s Our Year giddiness when we sweep the Reds at home. During the second game, Carlos Zambrano went mano y manny with Manny Ramirez and struck him out TWICE. What support did he get from his infield? Errors by De Rosa, Theriot, and Lee that allowed a five-run inning. Cub fans had every reason to sit down for that nonsense. I actually believe it will be an edge for the Cubs to play at Dodger Stadium, without all the living dead of Wrigleyville. As Mr. Warmoski has pointed out to me, “Dodgers fans barely pay attention — even after Manny, throwing around beach balls and whatnot.” Indeed, few locals will be there pre-third inning and many will leave after the 7th to beat traffic on the 110, so it will only be like playing three-innings away.