The Great Depression

October 6, 2008 – 2:45 pm by Hickey

First, a note from The Chairman:

It’s my kind of team

Chicago is

My kind of team

Chicago is

One team that always, always lets you down

It’s myyyyy… kiiiiiind… of… team!

I guess the old adage is true: father knows best. The day before the Cubs started the NLDS against the Dodgers, my dad came out of nowhere with the pronouncement that the Cubs were going to get swept. Even as the discoverer of the Curse of Dick Stockton, I scoffed at his thinking.

But when I woke up on Wednesday, I didn’t find myself filled with the joy of playoff expectation. Instead, there was just a feeling that this just wasn’t going to end well. Perhaps I have inherited my dad’s Sixth Sense for Impending Cubs Crappiness. I even predicted on this here site that the Cubs were not going to get past the Dodgers.

And though I saw it coming — Christ, I did not see that coming. I’m not sure what it was that the Cubs were playing this past week, but it wasn’t baseball. It was a complete abomination. It was perhaps the least-clutch performance in the entire world of sport since Bode Miller went 0-for-the Olympics in downhill skiing, but at least he had the excuse of partying at an Olympic level. For this Cubs team, there are no excuses. Just a disgusting aftertaste. A hangover without getting drunk first.

It’s hard to point the finger of blame for this debacle, as I only have 10 fingers. Obviously, the Dodgers played a great series. And Joe Torre proved that he can manage circles around Sweet Lou in the postseason, as every button he pushed turned to gold. Let’s not forget that it was Torre who led the Yankees past Piniella’s 116-win Mariner team in the 2001 ALCS.

While Lou may have made some poor choices in the series (if it could even be called that), he wasn’t the one committing four errors in a game or whiffing every time runners were in scoring position.

Alfonso Soriano — woof. I could have fiddled with my dick in the batter’s box and had a more productive series. In the past two postseasons, Soriano is 3-for-28 (.107) with no RBIs. If he’s still in leftfield next season, I’ll be in the bleachers waiting to greet him with open arms — and two middle fingers in the air; provided that I ever actually spend money on this Godforsaken product again. Soriano is now a career .213 hitter in postseason play. In other words, he’s the anti-clutch. Send him back to Washington, where he never has to worry about making the playoffs and can make the All-Star Game every year.

I’m not sure where to rate this Cubs collapse with those of the past. I do know that I woke up three or four times Saturday night with Cubs-related nightmares. Really. (They were dreams that were realistic and made me angry and I woke up. Maybe I need medical assistance.)

I am, however, reminded of a couple conversations from earlier in my life. One, my buddy David and I had in high school, where we expressed gratitude that we weren’t old enough to remember the 1984 NLCS, because that had to have been the worst thing you could ever live through.

In retrospect, I  wish I had been cognizant of that season. At least they won two playoff games.

The other conversation took place in 2003. Actually, there are two that stick out in my mind. The first was on the Sunday of Game 5 of the NLCS as the Cubs tried to close out the Marlins in Florida. My buddy Two Beers and I were stuck going to our job washing dishes at a sorority house (it’s tough work) while the Cubs were playing the prospective clincher, and our only link to the game was a radio with a signal that went out every other pitch.

Thus, we had a sense of relief when the Marlins won the game. Could you imagine the Cubs finally winning the pennant with us stuck wearing these stupid aprons and washing dishes and not being able to see anything? Plus, it’ll be better to clinch at home. And we’ve got Prior and Wood going. Selfishly, that’s the way we wanted it.

The Cubs haven’t won a playoff game since.

The other conversation was with my old internship boss, who was in the press box covering Game 6. I gave him a quick call as Bernie Mac sang the Seventh Inning Stretch, just to see what the atmosphere was like and say “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is happening.”

You know what happened next. Bartman. Alex Gonzalez. And Bernie Mac is dead. (I was also taping that game because I thought it would be an important historical artifact — seemingly everyone in Chicago has Super Bowl XX on tape somewhere, so I figured it would be a nice addition to my collection. And I guess it still would have some historic value had I not thrown it out my third-floor window onto the sidewalk.)

There’s nothing left for me to say about the complete train wreck that is the ’08 Cubs. It’s just a shame that a team that would have gone down in the books — and on the surface should — as one of the most revered in Cubs history will instead be one of the most reviled. So in lieu of a montage paying tribute to this year’s team, I leave you with a record of the texts that I received from friends during the funeral Game 3.

Pre-game

Brett: Im faced with a tough decision tonight — watch the cubs game or repeatedly hit myself over the head with a 2×4 (My response: Hit yourself in the balls.)

In-game

Drew: Christ

(I send a mass text hoping for an earthquake before the 5th inning.)

Chris: No joke

Charlie: LA is way overdue for one

Drew: Just once I’d like to hear Dick pronounce error correctly. (Dick Stockton’s preferred word is “erah.”)

Drew: Is this the same Dodger team?

Nancy: What the fuck does Manny Ramirez eat for breakfast?

The Baker: This is bullshit.

AK-47: (on Soriano) Release him tomorrow.

Zach: (in regards to my request that the Cubs refund me for my entire life) You wouldn’t get much. I’m just tired. Very very tired.

Nathan: (my most devout Christian friend) Fuck my life

Charlie: Worst fucking playoff series played by any team ever

Nancy: Apparently viagra makes you dance like a gay ass (Now we’re getting angry at commercials, apparently)

Nathan: I want to kill my self :(

Charlie: Double play in 5,4,3,2,1…

Chris: 2 runs. Possible. (This as we head into the 9th with Soriano coming up third and obviously lining up to be the final out. Someone give this guy a medal.)

Post-game

Joey Tams: Soriano…

Drew: First and last outs of the series, even though he didn’t go around

Tyler: No kidding. Soriano would have to be the one to go out like that. What a fucking waste of a season.

AK-47: This doesn’t feel good

Charlie: What a waste of a fucking season. Time to get more loaded. (It should be noted that he and Tyler don’t know each other.)

Scotty: Fuck… u knew they were weak all along

AK-47: Fuck dude. 161 games to get the best NL record and now its over.

AK-47: The regular season means absolutely nothing. I really cant imaging watching a regular season game anymore.

Charlie: From now no when I hear Dick Stocktons voice i’ll automatically go into intense convulsions and vomiting.

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  1. 3 Responses to “The Great Depression”

  2. And I thought Phillips and I had it bad after that one-game playoff against the Rockies last season.

    By McD on Oct 6, 2008

  3. And get more loaded I did. I vaguely remember sending that last one. I also almost broke my finger from punching a chair.

    By Cousin Charlie on Oct 6, 2008

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