One hundred is a nice round number. An aspirational one. Probably just not the favorite of Chicago Cub fans or executives at Fox Sports at the moment.
The Los Angeles Dodgers topped the Cubs last night 3-1, sweeping away the heavily favored N.L. Central champions.in three games. The loss extended the the Northsiders’ World Series winless streak to 100 calendar years (99 on the field as labor unrest cancelled the 1994 campaign without a champion).
Hence, the legends of Tinker, Evans to Chance, not to mention curses involving a billy goat\, a black cat and one Steve Bartman, live on in Chitown.
Surely, it was going to happen this year, so Cub fans and Fox believed, or more likely hoped. After all, Lou Piniella’s troops were well-armed and sported a lineup that was the envy of most clubs.
But a James Loneuy grand slam in game one, a pair of errors that keyed a five-run LA second in game two and a strong performance by Hiroki Kuroda on the hill last night, combined to send the Dodgers to their first post-season series victory since Kirk Gibson’s pinch-hit grand slam off Dennis Eckersley, keyed a five-game upset of the heavily favored Oakland A’s in the1988 Fall Classic..
Instead of riding the Cubs’s century-long quest, Fox must settle for Manny Ramirez (.396 averge, 17 HRs and 53 RBIs in 53 regular-season games since coming over from the Bosox and five hits, two dingers, five runs scored and three ribbies in the NLDS) and Joe Torre’s crew against either Philadelphia Phillies or Milwaukee Brewers (hey, at least that Division series wasn’t a sweep).
Either way, the matchup has to top last year’s Pacific time zone confrontation in which the Colorado Rockies stepped on the Arizona Diamondbacks, as TBS recorded the all-time NLCS primetime ratings lows with the sweep in the process .
With the Red Sox poised to take out LA’s other team, the Angels of Anaheim, TBS — which in its alternating rotation with Fox, this year has exclusive ALCS rights — should ride the Nation’s wave to an improved championship round performance. That will happen whether or not the Second City’s Southsiders, the Chisox, can trally against the upstart of Tampa Bay Rays.
Fans and Fox just won’t get the baseball version of boffo this year, Cub and Bosox.
For the Northsiders, they stare at another long winter of despair. But they again will wake from their hibernation to visit the jewel of a ballpark known as Wrigley Field. Others will wait outside its walls to catch long balls on Sheffield and Waveland Avenues. Because next year, 2009, could be the time for Cubs fans and TBS.
Someday, it’s going to happen.