Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The Cubs do this all the time in games, and now they're toying us on a doom-defying playoff level. You know those games where the Cubs urge you to change the channel early? They give the opposition a 9-run lead, swing at the first pitch every at-bat and look categorically awful in every aspect of the game . . . for 8 innings.
Then the 9th inning rolls around, and the first two guys make outs (think "Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same") and whatever totally unrealistic comeback hopes you may have entertained you then send packing on their dreary way.
Then a couple guys get on. Then a double. A walk. Two hit batsmen and a dropped popup. Suddenly the bases are juiced and the tying run is on deck. You swore you wouldn't do it, but you're now beckoning hope to come back and sit next to you on the couch. You let the thought of a miracle creep into your head and tickle your occipital lobe.
Invariably, someone Santo's described as having "the power to tie it up, no doubt" flies out lazily to left, leaving you feeling like a grade-A sucker. Your head might actually assume the form of a sucker a la Woody Woodpecker.
Welcome to the 2009 Chicago Cubs. They're trying to mess with us using the same illusion on a grander scale. Instead of making their lovely assistant disappear, they're telling us the Statue of Liberty will vanish. Instead of staging their comeback down 7 in the 9th, they're doing it down 5 1/2 on September 16. Well, I've seen this trick before, and I'm not falling for it.
Unless . . . well, unless they can sweep the Brewers and the Giants. Then . . . well, maybe then there'd be a chance. Aargh, Curses!