Friday, October 21, 2016

A pre-emptive comment on Bartman

The Chicago Cubs now have a 3-2 lead in the NLCS. The last time they were this close to the World Series was 2003, and the popular shorthand for what happened is "Bartman."

Which is enough sewage to clog a waste treatment plant.

Fox and ESPN being ESPN and Fox, we will be inundated with the Steve Bartman story now. Let it be said right here, right now: Steve Bartman, wherever he is now and under whatever name, did nothing wrong in 2003. He was just a fan reaching for a ball that was in the seating area. Moises Alou had no more chance to catch that ball than I did sitting in Mankato.

The Cubs lost that game and that series because they made too many mistakes. The Cubs deserved, in a karmic sense, to lose that game and that series because the Cubs of that era and that managment -- Jim Hendry as general manager, Dusty Baker as manager -- acceptted no responsibility for anything that went wrong. For some reason, the national broadcasters went along with it. And the local broadcasters? Well, Steve Stone got fired for speaking truth about the Cubs.

It's a different owner, different front office, different manager, different players. But the Cubs have not earned their way back into my esteem, not that my esteem matters to them or anybody else. And if they play along with the Bartman nonsense, they never will.


  1. As a Cleveland fan, I can usually commiserate with fans like the long-suffering Cubs fans that have had such a long and frustrating drought. But every time I watch Catching Hell, my heart breaks for Steve. He was such an easy target for a bunch of fans, the vast majority of which, would have done the exact same thing Steve Bartman did. The Cubs choked, period. With the way those fans acted, frankly, they don't deserve a championship. I for one, hope the Cubs don't win anything for a long long time.

  2. There's no accounting for fans or the media; they are what they are. Baseball is my escape from the ugly in life, so I do tend to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to anything but the game itself, and I try to let the past fade into the past. Baseball is very much about today's game and just that.

    I also love an underdog and tend to shy away from dynasty teams, so I'm delighted and tickled the WS is going to be Indians vs Cubbies.

    I was rooting Cubs through the NLCS, but I'll be rooting for Cleveland, a fellow AL-C team, in the WS! (And hoping for all seven games.)

  3. There is no accounting for public opinion whatsoever ... a good example is the thousands of pages of often vicious "vitriol" targeted at the MN dentist last year when he killed a lion named Clyde (legally).

    Yet, the public accepts, mostly in silence, the fact that countless young women are being held by Pimps as sex slaves.