Category Archives: Baseball

Did the Cubs really win?

My bad.

Call it distractions, call it day-to-day life, call it ennui if you must you yuppie swine, but I never got around to writing about the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.

So call this a make-up column.

Do I have any new insights on the games? No. Do I have any insights on the players? No. But I do have a keen memory of the fans I saw the night they wrapped up Game 7 (finally) for the win.

I saw Damian from Chicago bear-hugging Randy from Wisconsin, jumping up and down as if they were gathered at the pitcher’s mound in Cleveland on that rainy night at Progressive Field. A young black man celebrating with a middle-aged white man with only two things in common — a gig at one of the largest newspaper companies in the world and a shared love of a once-cursed baseball team that had just conquered the world.

Yes, I saw this in a newsroom, where there’s no cheering in the press box, where we’ve seen it all, heard it all, read it all. Where news of election results, car crashes, celebrity sightings, rapes, murders and, yes, sporting events are met with either gallows humor or a detached shrug.

But not in this case. The Cubs won the World Series, ending a 108-year drought. This win mattered, even to fans in the newsroom. And I’ve got proof.

Fifteen minutes after the Cubs sealed the deal, Randy emerged from the men’s room dressed in his Cubs hat and jersey. Why did he wait until after the game?

“The last time they were in the playoffs, I was wearing this while they were playing and they lost. Didn’t want to jinx them,” he says.

Jerseys and hats are for closers, so once the Cubs closed the series, the well-deserved swag came out of the duffel bag and onto the superstitious fan who knows best — you don’t mess with a win streak, not in Vegas, not in Cleveland.

Randy’s a Packers fan, so he knows what it’s like to have your team win the big one. But this is baseball, and there’s nothing like a World Series win. It’s a glow in the chest that keeps you warm until April when the sun comes out on the dawn of a new season.

It’s memories of game-winning RBIs from Little League when you pretended someday you’d hit the game-winner in the major leagues.

It’s a call to Dad, Mom, and maybe Grandpa, who also witnessed his first World Series win in his lifetime.

It’s a chance to talk to old friends and new acquaintances, even the ones who sometimes annoy you, they’re all right now, because they’re Cubs fans too and we won.

And it’s a time for pure baseball lovers to unite because we remember when our teams finally won, like my Giants in 2010, and how great it feels, and when we see our friends feeling the same thing, that glow in the chest comes rushing back into us too.

The Cubs won the World Series. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment. For everyone.

Except Cleveland fans, of course. Oh, well. Maybe next year.



Broadcaster Jack Clark claims Albert Pujols used PEDs (He also believes OJ killed his wife)

Albert Pujols has used and probably still uses performance enhancing drugs.

There. I said it. Bet I don’t get fired, though. And I bet Pujols doesn’t sue me either. Poor Jack Clark. He got fired and sued. I know that for a fact. (See what I did there?)

Long time readers know where I stand on this issue. I’m against the use of PEDs for anyone under the age of 21. But I think they should be legalized and regulated for those 21 and over who choose to use them.

If prescribed. By a doctor. Under a doctor’s care. Not smuggled in from Mexico and sold on the black market as they are now.

But that’s just my opinion. You see, I miss Barry Bonds. I also miss Mark McGwire. I even miss Roger Clemens (wait… isn’t he still pitching somewhere?). I miss the good old days when giants roamed the Earth and monster home runs rained down like… I have no idea where I’m going with this sentence.

I miss the power hitting. Will someone please wake me when ‘roids come back?

Where was I? Oh, right. Pujols is guilty. Probably not recently, because his hitting has noticeably deteriorated, but back in the day—when he was truly The Machine—I’m guessing he had some good high octane fuel.

Even if you’re against PEDs, you have to at least suspect Pujols used them. The original suspects were McGwire and Sammy Sosa, and when they were caught people said, well at least Bonds is clean. Okay, maybe no one ever said that, but they couldn’t prove he wasn’t for a long while.

So maybe Bonds used PEDs, but at least Jason Giambi didn’t. Okay, Giambi did, but at least A-Rod didn’t. Okay, A-Rod did, but at Melky Cabrerra didn’t, at least Miguel Tejada didn’t, at least Ryan Braun didn’t.

Except they all did after all. And now what do people say? At least Pujols didn’t.

There’s a name for people who can’t see the PED forest for the trees. And that name is Bob Costas. (But don’t get me started on Costas.)

One more point, and then I’ll shut up about this subject for another six months or so. Why didn’t people go into a big tizzy when Jim Bouton wrote about major leaguers using methamphetamines in his book Ball Four? How come no President ever mentioned that little item in the State of the Union address?

Because I’ve got to tell you—I’m definitely anti-methamphetamines. Those are very bad performance enhancers, even the relatively tame meth tabs Bouton called “greenies” in the book.

Funny, though. No one got thrown out of MLB because of Jim Bouton’s book. No sports writer took away a Hall of Fame vote because of greenies. And no one got up in arms when Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris took their special vitamin B treatments—via injections with a hypodermic needle.

Hypocrisy is everywhere. Baseball fans have lost all perspective. One thing’s for sure. Whether you’re for PEDs or against them, they are absolutely ruining the MLB game. How can Barry Bonds not be in the Hall of Fame based on everything he accomplished before the PEDs?

I give up. I think from now on I’ll just watch the Little League World Series and the college game. Maybe some Triple-A every now and again.

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