Friday, May 20, 2011

Cubs Streak to Win

The Chicago Cubs beat the Florida Marlins Wednesday night and, according to media reports, they got a little help from a streaker. After the man made his appearance in the fifth inning, two errors helped the Cubs score two runs.

And I thought streaking had gone out of style in the '70s. Whatever the case, the incident might be a bit of karmic payback for the denizens of Wrigley Field. It was more than four decades in coming, but maybe it evens the score (at least a little) for the black cat that crossed the team's path during their epic 1969 collapse.

That year, of course, the New York Mets came roaring from behind to win their first division, pennant and World Series. The Cubs had a huge lead, a star studded roster -- Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Fergie Jenkins among them -- and an iconic manager in Leo Durocher.

But that didn't help them maintain the lead they held for more than three months. Whether the cat was purposely dropped on the field or just happened by while Santo was in the on-deck circle, it became another symbol of the Cubs' losing tradition.

And even if the Cubs got a victory because of some bizarre quirk in baseball history last night, their fans still might think they are owed much, much more. After all, there are other curses: the goat, Steve Bartman.

If the Cubs don't win the pennant this year the streaker's efforts will be forgotten. And the Cubs will have to find another way to grab that elusive brass ring. I don't know, maybe better player is the answer. After all, even the Red Sod and White Sox managed to win after long droughts.

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