Wednesday, October 01, 2008

#105: Who I'm Rooting for in the 2008 MLB Postseason

---Anybody But the Cubs---

Anyone who's followed this blog for any length of time knows that my extreme dislike of Cubbie Blue runs deep.

Six years of living in the Windy City made me a Sox fan (as my "other" team). This is partially because of the Cubs.

I started out just "disliking" the Cubs because they were a divisional rival of the Pirates. As time went on, I realized that dislike was growing into disdain, and disdain was growing into "I'm gonna beat one of these yuppies with a brick."

And while I think Pat Hughes (radio voice of the Cubs) is one of the best ever, I always got a smile anytime a Cub game was getting out of control and listening to Ron Santo (worst player turned broadcaster least among those who've been around for more than a couple years) whine.

After several trips to Wrigley, and in my encounters with Cub fans throughout the years, I've come to realize a few things.

1) Precious few of them really know what's going on on the field. I was at a game at Wrigley circa 2001 where, for some unknown reason, Craig Wilson was playing left field for the Pirates. He misplayed a ball out there and got (deservedly laughed at). A little later on, he catches a ball and gets phony applause from the left field bleacher bums. A guy behind me (and we're far down the third base line), stops his conversation on a cell phone and asks me what it was all about. When I think back on it, I think the left field bleacher bums might have been the only ones who were paying attention at all.

2) The Cubs clinched the NL Central against the Pirates. Of course, I was just rooting for the Pirates to win a damn game, kind of enjoying the potential spoiler. I had Cubs fans celebrating all over top of me, as though I'd been talking smack since April. One guy got in my face with the words, "Cubs! Win!" as though I had done my absolute damnedest to stop them. I calmly warned him of the black eye he'd receive if he didn't get out of my face (which worked), but that was awful.

3) A middle-aged guy in my office back then (when I worked a "real" job) was a huge fan. For years, he would start talking smack before a game, come over and visit my cube (or the cube of a Cardinals or Brewers or Sox fan) when the game was in progress and going the Cubs' way. Then, on those instances where the lead didn't hold up, he'd never show his face, and sort of resented when we'd come visit him. Sore winners, seriously. I don't care if it's been 100 years.

4) Back to 2003, the straw that seriously set me against the Cubs for good, the Steve Bartman incident. Not only did the fans want to hang this guy (who was well within his right to the ball (or at least not get hit in the head with it)), they seemingly failed to realize that about 12 other fans were reaching for the ball, too. Oh, yeah, and even afterward, the Cubs had a 3-0 lead with one out in the 8th inning of the clincher. Mark Prior needed to make another pitch. Alex Gonzales needed to turn at least one of a potential double play. Things needed to happen on the field when the game was still in Chicago's control. Not Bartman's fault.

- Worst of all, after the game, Dusty Baker didn't even have the decency to say, "Leave the guy alone. We had our chances." Instead, he went with, "You never know what might have happened." Are you KIDDING? Moises Alou said something to the effect of, "I hope this guy doesn't have to live with it for the rest of his life."

- Seriously. Where's the brick I had previously reserved for a yuppie? That's worse that Seattle Seahawks fans after Superbowl XL.

That said, the MLB postseason is 2 seconds away. And I'm rooting for

ANYBODY but the Chicago Cubs.

(The White Sox are my preference, but I'll take anybody but the Cubs).

Off the cuff predictions:

Phillies over Brewers in 4
Cubs over Dodgers in 5
Red Sox over Angels in 5
White Sox over Rays in 3,

Back with the CSes after the DSes are in the books.