The Red Sox broke the Curse of the Bambino in 2004, exercising their demons with the New York Yankees and sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the process, winning their first championship in 86 years.
The White Sox just got finished sweeping the Houston Astros last night, breaking the Black Sox curse, and winning, in historic fashion, their first championship in 88 years.
With these two curses finally exorsized, the question must be asked – with two curses taken care of in two years, can the third be taken care of in 3? Can the Chicago Cubs, victims of the dreaded Billy Goat Curse for 97 years, take that big leap and end it once and for all in 2006?
My answer, my friends, is simple: No.
First of all, they don’t have the personnel – in the front office, that is. I don’t believe that, as long as Dusty Baker is manager of the Cubs, the Northsiders of Chi-town will win a World Series, even if they do get there. I don’t blame Bartman for that 2003 NLCS Collapse at the hands of the Florida Marlins. Some of that blame goes to Baker – he could have easily passed it off as a fluke play, made his team shake it off for Game 7, and forget the whole thing. But, he was the one who perpetuated it after Game 6. Not a Championship Manager move. And, lest we forget, The Giants got to the World Series in 2002 with Baker at the helm. Did he lead them to the Promised Land? I think not.
Then, there is the pitching staff. Do I have to spell it out for you? Maddux is aging, Wood will never be the pitcher Cubs fans saw such promise in, a few years back, and Clement’s with the Red Sox. I’m sorry – there’s not much there.
Granted, you guys have Derrek Lee. Quick – name me another big-league hitter who can carry games when Lee is struggling … didn’t think so. I’m sorry – there’s not much there, either.
Now, finally … on to my final point. Why don’t I think the Cubs will exorsize their Billy Goat/Bartman demons in 2006? It just wouldn’t make any sense, symmetrically. “What are you talking about?” you ask. Well, you see, the Red Sox won last year, and the White Sox this year. Boston’s last title was in 1918, and the Southsiders’, 1917. Now, symmetrically speaking, since the time between the White Sox’ last title and the Cubs’ last title is 9 years (remember, they won their last in 1908), add 9 to 2005 and …
I declare that the Cubs will win the World Series in the year 2014. Now, that’s partly based on symmetrics. That even makes sense, from a business standpoint, doesn’t it? Look – the Cubs Organization will have to do a complete turnover at least once more before the Northsiders get back on the right track. New manager, new front office, new talent – hitting and pitching. By 2014, I think they’ll have the talent and management needed to win it all.
So, all this talk about the curses being over with? Let’s not get carried away, here. After all, without the Cubs being the lovable losers that they are, who else is there?
The Giants? 🙂