How bad has the 1908-2008 Cub Century been? So bad, even New Yorkers like the Sun’s Tim Marchman now root for the Cubs to win a World Series over their own Mets. As Marchman notes, “If only for the joy it would bring Banks and millions like him, who have suffered through black cats walking on the field; gormless fans snatching fly balls from the air during playoff games; the invasion of their ballpark, the most perfect city block in America, by endless waves of drunken, hooting maniacs, and other indignities, the Cubs really ought to win.”
Save your pity for the Knicks and former Yankees and their FBI investigations. If the NY sports media feels sorry for someone — and I don’t believe that’s actually happened in baseball since Lou Gehrig’s “luckiest man alive” speech — you’re probably in a hole pretty deep. Hearing that from New York, wherein the 1969 Cubs and Banks were robbed of a Series appearance by a blind call at home plate, brings to mind the scene in The Bad News Bears where the Yankees cheer on the Bears for trying so hard despite beating the Bears. As Tanner Boyle put it so eloquently, “Hey Yankees… you can take your apology and your trophy and shove ’em straight up your ass!”
Marchman even manages to shed some tears for the Cubs’ career donut-hole, Kerry Wood, noting, ” …and Kerry Wood, another throwback whose story, involving a will far stronger than his arm, makes him one of those heartbreaking characters that define Chicago baseball. He deserves a ring as much as anyone in the sport …”. Deserves one as much as who, his roster mate on The Mitchell Report, Barry Bonds? Stronger than Wood’s arm? Most biscotti can take more punishment than Wood’s arm. Wood drained the Cubs of millions, none of which was caused by a black cat. Wood wasn’t so heartbroken he didn’t mind taking bonus money for one of his bench-warming years decorating Wrigley’s bullpen. Somehow in NYC Wood reads like Brian’s Song.
Fortunately, the Cubs have a new owner who thinks like me and isn’t looking for pity. After Zell’s Tribco annoucned a $78 M loss in 2007’s 4th Quarter (the news would have come sooner, but they laid off all their accountants), Variety reports Zell told his dwindling LA Times staff he was going to save their jobs. “The challenge is, how do we get somebody 126 years old to get it up?” Zell said, referring to the newspaper. “Well … I’m your Viagra.”
PS — “gormless?”