I love the way the Chicago Cubs play baseball. Alfonso Soriano is a thrill of a leadoff hitter. You don’t know if he’ll do something great or foolish, but you know he’ll do something interesting. I like Wrigley Field, one of the few ballparks I’ve always wanted to visit but have not. I like their pitching, their style and their lineup.
But I can’t pull for the Cubs. Five years ago a fan named Steve Bartman did what fans have been conditioned to do since they first picked up a baseball. A ball comes your way, you reach for it.
Outfield Moises Alou also reached for the ball, which was in foul territory. Bartman didn’t see Alou and Alou couldn’t hang onto the ball and he blamed Bartman. So did most of Chicago.
Ahead 3-0 at the time, the Cubs lost to Florida 8-3. Instead of poise, the Cubs allowed the incident to ruin them. Needing somebody to blame for the futility, they blamed Bartman. His name and address were distributed, as well as his employer, and he had to go underground.
The Cubs had a history of being lovable losers. After the Bartman incident, they become losers. As much as I enjoy watching them, they still are.
White Sox demonstrate appeal of soccer?
The other Chicago team, the White Sox, deserved their 1-0 victory Tuesday night against the team with which I grew up, the Minnesota Twins. The game was almost enough to explain the appeal of a 1-0 soccer game. So much went on. Yet the only player to touch home plate was Jim Thome, who played minor league ball in Charlotte. I remember talking to Thome before a game long ago. He was as classy and as humble as you would imagine.
So even though I was pulling for Minnesota, I salute the White Sox. The game was tremendous, and the home team earned the victory.
Of greed, desperation and panic
The late great gas shortage reminded us of something we already knew, or should have. Many people go through life on the cusp of panic. All it takes is a slight variation to their routine to undo them. You saw that at the pump last week.
I talked to one attendant who told a woman in an SUV, who had cut in line, to get back in place. The woman in the SUV threw a drink at her. Another guy in an SUV cut in front of my wife at a different station. When the attendant told him to get back in line, he pretended he didn’t understand English. But he understood her directions, and for a guy that didn’t understand the language he spoke it well.
The greed and the desperation are appalling. What a terrible way to go through life. This week it was gas. Next week? It will be something else. It always is.