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.