Field of Dweebs

Congress struggled last week to agree on an economic bailout plan that eventually forced the stock market to plunge 777 points. That all could have been avoided if only the leaders on Capitol Hill followed the lead of the Chicago Cubs — who are the masters of bailing out. They have 100 years of experience — and the way they played this post-season, it looks like that experience will carry over another 100 years.

Need more? OK, take a swing at this: President Bush — a lifelong baseball fan — should’ve consulted the Chicago Cubs during his Iraq War — because the Cubs have a patent on exit strategies.

The last time the Cubs won a World Series was in 1908. Mark Twain was still alive and Roosevelt was president. Teddy Roosevelt.

Before the Cubs even take the field for game one of a playoff series, sportswriters immediately write their baseball obituary for the season. Saves time — all they have to do later is fill in the name of the team that beat them and the final score. It’s kind of like what newspapers do with famous people who are on in years and aren’t expected to accomplish anything else in their lives but die. The Cubs are the one team you want playing when you need to make deadline.

This post-season, the Cubs were the first team to be eliminated. They had the best record in the National League and had home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Naturally, they lost the first two games at home. Ah, the friendly confines of Wrigley Field — where World Series titles go to die. At least the Cubs bailed out early this year and didn’t wait until the last game of the NL Championship Series to devastate their legion of loyal fans.

Then there’s this Curse thing. You can’t mention the Cubs without mentioning the Curse. Never mind that the Cubs own penchant for going into a slump as a team: pitching, hitting and defense. This time against the Dodgers in the 3-game sweep, the Cubs were outscored 20 to 6; they made 6 errors (4 in one game); no starting pitcher made it deep into a game; and no slugger blasted a homerun. Each hitter looked likehe was stepping up to the plate with a 2-strike count. You’ll miss a Cubs half ofan inning if you go to the fridge for a brewski.

It only added to the Cubs’ century of misfortune that the Dodgers added slugger Manny Ramirez to their roster — heignited the normally laid-back team. More importantly, that battle-tested manager Joe Torre ended up in L.A. was just what the script doctor ordered. This guy is a winner wherever he goes.

The Cubs just don’t know how to win. And it isn’t because of any Curse. Maybe it’s just one of God’s little jests. Besides, since the Cubs won’t get to the World Series this year, mankind avoided Armageddon for the 100th year in a row. Some people believe if the Cubs even get to the World Series, it’s a sure sign of the Apocalypse.

Think of it that way: The Cubs always lose because it is their lot in life to protect mankind.

Heaven knows they can’t protect a lead.

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