Friday, November 4, 2016

Wait 'Til Next Year


The perennial words following each Chicago Cubs baseball season.  2016 was finally “the year.”  Not since 1945 have the Cubs played in the World Series, and it was 1908 when they last won the championship.

I don’t much follow any sports team – I’m certainly not a diehard fan – but I always want our local teams to win: Chicago Bears, Fighting Illini sports, my high school.  I grew up in a family that backed those teams.


2016 World Series


Chicago Cubs
Cleveland Indians

Game 1
0
6
L
Game 2
5
1
W
Game 3
0
1
L
Game 4
2
7
L

Oh my. Things are not looking good for the “loveable losers.”  One more loss, and it’s over.

But . . . . .

Game 5
3
2
W
Game 6
9
3
W

OMG. It’s come down to Game 7.  Is it possible Chicago will win the series?

Game 7 began on a positive note for the Cubs.  The Cubs are the visiting team, and they bat first.  The first batter up hit a leadoff home run.  Halfway through the nine innings, the Cubs were leading 5-1.  Then in the bottom of the 5th inning, things went south for Chicago.  The Indians were at bat with two outs when a wild pitch hit the dirt in front of home plate, bounced into the Cubs catcher’s head, and knocked him over.  The catcher scrambled to get the loose ball but by the time it was recovered, two runs had scored.  Now 5-3.

By the 8th inning, the Cubs had increased their lead, 6-3.  Once again, there are two outs against the Indians.  They score 3 runs to tie the game, 6-6.  This is when I went to bed.  It was after 10 p.m., and close games like this agitate me and make me anxious.

When I woke the next morning, my first impulse was to brace myself for a Cubs loss.  In the past they always seemed to fold under pressure.  Plus, it’s just my nature to anticipate the worst.  I was amazingly wrong.  The front page of the newspaper told the final score:
                                      Cubs           8
                                      Indians       7

Now I wished I’d recorded the end of the game.  Lucky for me, I found a rerun of the entire game.  It was a condensed version, and slow parts, partial innings, and even the entire 7th inning were cut “due to time constraints.”  I was able to fast forward through commercials and the numerous pitches for strikes and balls.  What a great way to watch a baseball game ... by eliminating all the boring parts.

The 9th inning ended with a tied score, 6-6.  There was a 17-minute rain delay.  The Cubs scored 2 runs in the 10th, but the Indians could only manage one more run.  And that was it:

Game 7
8
7
W







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