In Wrigleyville, the last rites of October?
I’m in the Wrigley Field dungeon doubling as a media workroom. It’s the top of the eighth inning of Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, and Mark Prior has a four-hit shutout and the Cubs within five outs of the World Series, and the Marlins’ Luis Castillo has just hit a lazy foul ball down the left field line which Moises Alou is about to catch before Steve Bartman gets in the way.
The writers look up from their computer screens at the TV monitors around the room, look at each other and we can hear the goat bleating in the background.
Then Miguel Cabrera’s likely inning-ending double-play grounder is booted by Alex Gonzalez, whose 10 errors during the regular season made him the top fielding shortstop in the National League.
And us writers now can see the black cat, too.
Eight Florida runs later, all the premonitions have come true.
So now the Cubs are back. If they are going to bury all the hexes of the past 107 years, they’re going to need a mass grave …
Speaking of graves, eight more wins and you no longer will be able to find this in your neighborhood Hallmark shop:
The cheers for Terry Collins’ redemption add fuel to the feeling that Dusty Baker, too, deserves another shot at managing after two painful seasons on the outs. Hope Karma wasn’t in play when he interviewed for the Nationals’ opening on the 12th anniversary of The Bartman Game. …
No shortage of storylines in the League Championship Series about to kick off, and one common theme is underling-becomes-rival.
Collins’ bench coach in Anaheim was Joe Maddon — who took over as the Angels’ interim manager when Collins was dismissed on Sept. 3, 1999.
John Gibbons stayed on as the Royals’ bench coach following Trey Hillman’s early-2010 firing and remained in that capacity under Ned Yost through 2011. …