Un-happy Anniversary

Photo Credit: AP

I knew it was coming because it's unavoidable.

It's October 14th...do you know where your favorite fans are?

Oct. 14 doesn't ring a bell to you? Well, it should for Cubs fans.

It's the five year anniversary of the day one of our own helped turn a dream season into a nightmare.

That's right: Steve Bartman Night.

I kinda think it's funny that there is no NL playoff baseball tonight. Maybe the head honchos at the MLB expected the Cubs to be in the NLCS and wanted to keep the curse-conscious North Siders free of that sickening reminder.

It didn't matter, the Dodgers took care of that.

So do you remember where you were?

I do.

With the Cubs having a 1-0 lead and news that fans were gathering around Wrigley Field in anticipation of a celebration, I felt the need to hop on a train and head to Clark & Addison. I had already missed the celebration after the Cubs clinched the NL Central Division title and the post-NLDS party so this was a must-happen.

My parents were in Las Vegas, two days after the most awesome wedding in the history of weddings. I called my mom and asked if I could go down to Wrigley (I was a senior in high school and spent most of my days on house arrest) and she said yes.

On my way to the train, my buddy John and I heard Bernie Mac sing the 7th inning stretch and sing "root, root, root for the champ, champs!" and my initial reaction was "he shouldn't have said that" but I was assured that it didn't matter because Mark Prior was on the mound.

The Cubs responded with two runs and took a 3-0 lead into the 8th inning.

And then with one out in the top of the 8th inning tragedy struck.

That's right, tragedy.

And yes, for a while I blamed Bartman and I had a good reason.

Think about it. Where he was sitting he should have seen the following:
  • The game situation: One out. Runner on first 3-2 count with Luis Castillo at bat and the heart of the Florida Marlins coming up.
  • The scoreboard which read 3-0 Cubs.
  • Left fielder Moises Alou closing in and the ball slicing down the left field line.
Or maybe he should have taken a hint from the radio broadcast he was listening to on those goofy headphones.

"Castillo hits a fly ball slicing down the left field line, Alou giving chase..."

If I was in Aisle 4 Row 8 Seat 113 I would have immediately located the ball and gotten the f*ck out of the way.

Most baseball fans would.

Because if your player is going for the ball, you give him a chance to field it. If their player is going for a ball you f*ck with him.

Now Bartman shouldn't get all the blame. So allow me to give the blame to the proper people:
  • Manager Dusty Baker for not going out to calm his pitcher or even argue with an ump. How about a distraction?
  • Moises Alou for throwing a bitch fit and not coming up with the ball.
  • Alex Gonzalez for not fielding what should have been the inning-ending double play despite having the best fielding percentage of any NL infielder.
  • Mark Prior for being a bitch and not getting out of the inning.
  • Dusty Baker (again) for riding Prior like a whore down the stretch in September.
  • Kyle Farnsworth for getting ridden like a whore by Mike Mordecai. Sick.
  • Kerry Wood for choking in Game 7. His words, not mine.
  • Carlos Zambrano for not being able to hold a 5-0 lead in Game 1.
  • Mark Guthrie for giving up the game-winning homer to Mike Lowell.
  • Jim Hendry for not acquiring Lowell or future Cub killer Ivan Rodriguez.
  • Joe Borowski for allowing a ninth inning run, which made Sammy Sosa's ninth inning home run a game tying HR...not a game winner.
I think I'm done.

I didn't want to do this. I didn't expect to do it. But I did it.

It's almost 10. Time to drink. It's dollar night.

Good night from Carbondale.

Bartman 5-year anniversary: Remember where you were? [Chicago Sun-Times]
Five years later, has the time come to forgive Steve Bartamn? [Palm Beach Post]