I don’t believe in them,
Oh, sure, I know all about Rocky Colavito and the Indians’ curse. More that Rocky and his curse, I remember Herb Score, the fellow Indian who caught Gil MacDougald’s line drive with his eye and lost his skill because of it. But more people remember Rocky. At least, more Cleveland people. In 1959 the Tribe traded Rocky to Detroit for Harvey Kuenn and Colavito had his best year in 1960 for them.
According to many Cleveland fans, this is why the Tribe’s mediocre (ie. we suck). They compare it to the Curse of the Bambino.
Now, everyone in the world has heard this one. The Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920 (before the season) and thus cursed the Sox. Uh huh. Ruth was amazing for many reasons. He reset the records, he could pitch, hit, field, and had an attitude to match.
But people, get your heads out of your asses!
There’s no such thing as a curse!
Baseball is a game of skill, odds and a little chance. It’s poker. You have to know what you’re doing and be able to do it to win. And the Cubs? Knew it. They had some flaws which, I feel, lead to their downfall.
Now a friend bitched I know nothing of his hatred against the Marlins, and I’m a fair-weather Cubs fan.
Firstly, I hate the Marlins. They’re second to the Yankees on my list of teams I hate (Yankees, Marlins, White Sox). The Cubs are third on my list of teams I love (Indians, Red Sox, Cubs). I live near Wrigley, I’ve watched the 1997 Indians lose to the Marlins. Sometimes, when I’m having a nightmare, I’m Tony Fernandez, muffing a grounder up between second and first, watching the run score in the 11th inning of game seven.
I’m not ashamed to admit I was bawling, inconsolable, and refused to answer my phone. I was home alone, my first year in Chicago. I was devastated.
So ask me again if I know of hatred and pain against the Marlins?
As for being a fair weather fan? Eh. I’ll grant you that. I don’t keep track of their ERAs and RBIs. I couldn’t tell you their starting line up clearly (Lofton, someone, someone, Sosa, Alou, someone, someone, someone, pitcher). I like the Cubs because I know what it feels like to be a fan for a sucky team. I know what it feels like to be mocked, teased, and harassed for being from Cleveland. The Indians have movies made about their awful playing, for Pete’s sake! Well, okay, so do the Cubs. Point being? Yeah, I’m not a die hard Cubby fan. So what? I love baseball and I enjoy their games, and I go to Cubs games when I can.
Back to the curse. No. There’s this stupid Billy Goat Curse, about how the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern used to bring his goat to games, got kicked out of Wrigley, and since then the Cubs haven’t won diddly.
I don’t believe any of it. The Indians lost because they played crap baseball in 1997 (seriously, if you look up ‘crap’ in the dictionary of baseball, it’ll say ‘1997 World Series’). Everyone knows it. The Marlins played like slightly better crap, and won. The Red Sox’s demise? What demise!? They’ve been a strong fighting team for a while now. They’re fucked by being in the Eastern Division with the rich ass Yankees trumping them all the time, but that’s not a curse. That’s the result of one team having money.
And the Cubs lost because they choked. They did. Kerry Wood, possibly the finest hitting pitcher around these days, said so. He choked. He’s 26, he was tired, and he’s been pitching 115+ pitches per game on a four man rotation. That’s stupid, by the way. You need at least three solid pitchers and a five man rotation these days if you expect to win.
The Marlins also have an ace in the hole this year. Ivan Rodriguez (ee-VAN, not EYE-vin). Pudge is my fucking hero. Best god damn catcher in the majors, he can hit, catch, throw, you name it, Pudge is the man. And the Marlins have him. And he’s their linchpin. Take away Ivan and they’d have lost. Seriously. He’s the reason why they’re doing well. You get one kick ass every day player on your team, and everyone does better. See Yankees, 1920.
The Cubs? No. They have a couple kick ass pitchers, but no fielder who does what’s needed. Sosa’s a home run hitter, and Alou has issues. Alou could do it, if he cleaned up a little and was a better situational hitter. Sosa needs to stop yearning for homers.
And just wait till next year. We’ll see.
As for the Red Sox? I’d like them to win. Go all the way. But just in case curses are real … If you’re a Cubs fan … Root for the Yankees.