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IMG_2364 (2)And so, the Cubs return to Wrigley Field for a Saturday night showdown after a successful trip to LaLa Land, winning two of three games there.

After winning Game 1, they were shutout twice logging only 6 total hits while losing Games 2 and 3. But, Chicago busted out the bats with 18 runs and 26 hits in Games 4 and 5 to end their successful stay in LA.

The Addison Street Miracle returns to Wrigley with a three games to two lead.

Immediately, the media types JUMPED on this story drawing a parallel to the unsuccessful Cubs run of 2003. Oh those press guys love a good curse story.

They won’t let us forget about the Curse of the Billy Goat dating back to their last World Series appearance in 1945. Then there’s the Curse of the Black Cat in Shea Stadium from the infamous 1969 collapse. Kick em when they’re up kick em when they’re down give us Dirty Laundry.

The one that bugs me is how the person seated in Aisle 4, Row 8, Seat 113 continues to be mentioned BY NAME as a part of an alleged curse that was initiated in the 8th inning of Game 6 of the NLCS on October 14, 2003.

Can we just get over it and give this poor guy a break?

If you must refer to it, can you call it “The Foul Ball Incident” or “The Headphone Game?”

Better yet, why not go all Harry Potter it and refer to this poor soul as, “He who shall not be named” or “You know who,” Cause we ALL know who gets the rap.

I’ve watch the clip more than the Zapruder film. Matters not that there were at least 6 hands reaching in the air, He Who Shall Not Be Named gets the rap. Let it go media people. Please.

Ironically I found that the Harry Potter series actually has a Tongue-Tying curse.

The first time anyone goes off tonight, simply say “Mimblewimble” wave your wand and bang, the target’s tongue is bound to keep him from talking about a specific subject. Try it tonight if they mention the incident. Maybe it will bring some Cubs runs too.

Irony number 2, the “Incident Game” game happened on October 14. On October 14, 1908, the Cubs won their last World Series. Time of the game, one hour and twenty five minutes!! (That’s about how long it takes current Dodger pitcher Pedro Baez to throw one inning.)

Frank Chance went 3-4 and Orval Overall threw a 3 hit shutout enroute to a 2-0 win and the title.

Tonight, I don’t care if Clayton Kershaw, Kermit the Frog or Clayton Moore is pitching. Here’s to the Cubs striking fast and striking often.

It’s a great night for baseball. Sorry, Ernie, but let’s play only one more.

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GE DIGITAL CAMERAThe Russian Physiologist, Ivan Pavlov developed the theory of “classic conditioning” after noticing his dogs salivated when a bell rang because that was a sign food was about to arrive.

After one loss on Sunday and another on Tuesday, some Cubs fans, announcers and other media types are going into a panic and it’s fair to assume perhaps some out there have been “conditioned” by Cubs’ collapses of the past.

The Cubs lost two games in the NLCS and suddenly there’s headphones and black cats and goats, oh my. The sky is falling, our heroes are doomed.

In all of sports, there is likely nary a team who falls back on curses quite like some Cubs fans when things don’t go well. Those are the ones who have been “conditioned.” The loss is the bell. The bell induces the doom and gloom. The doom and gloom calls to the curses. Then they’re all in a salivating frenzy about headphones and black cats and goats, oh my.

But folks, I’m here to tell you this ain’t your grand pappy’s Cubs, or your great-grand pappy’s Cubs or even your great-great-grand pappy’s Cubs for that matter.

27 outs. We don’t quit. We are good.

To quote a band called Jimmy Eat World who hails from Mesa, Arizona, Spring Training home of the Chicago Cubs:
Hey, don’t write yourself off yet. It’s only in your head…
Everything, everything will be just fine
Everything, everything will be all right all right all right

Jon Lester: “We just keep grinding … As a fan, you just have to grind with our team.”
Dexter Fowler: “Enjoy the show.”
Joe Maddon: “I don’t want to go to Negative Town.”
Bluto Blutarsky: “Nothing is over until we say it’s over.”
Bruce Springsteen: “Show a little faith. There’s magic in the night.”

People are jumping off the Titanic before they even see an iceberg.
This because the Cubs have lost TWO games in a row.
The path to the Fall Classic is becoming littered with the unfaithful who have deserted the bandwagon.
The fair weathered fans are feeling the chill and looking to exit. May I have your playoff tickets, please?
And yes, the haters are starting to come out from under the rocks.

But, guess what? After exhaustive research, I was able to determine that many teams actually have come back to win an LCS after being down two games to one.

As Crash Davis said,” This game’s fun, OK? Fun goddamnit.”
Let’s have some fun.

IMG_1605
The 2016 version of the Chicago Cubs set a new record for home wins at Wrigley Field. The 57 wins were the most ever in their 101 seasons at the venerable old ball yard.

This feat earned them home field advantage throughout the National League Playoffs.

I know what you’re thinking. How have the Cubs fared at the Friendly Confines in Post-Season play over the years?

Not so good. But, sadly the sample size in not that large. The Cubs have had exactly 13 seasons with a post season game at Clark and Addison with the following results:

1929 0 wins 2 losses (Philadelphia Athletics)
1932 0 wins 2 losses (New York Yankees)
1935 1 win 2 losses (Detroit Tigers)
1938 0 wins 2 losses (New York Yankees)
1945 1 win 3 losses (Detroit Tigers)
1984 2 wins 0 losses (San Diego Padres)
1989 1 win 1 loss (San Francisco Giants)
1999 0 wins 1 loss (Atlanta Braves)
2003 1 win 1 loss (Atlanta Braves)
2003 1 win 3 losses (Florid Marlins)
2007 0 wins 1 loss (Arizona Diamondbacks)
2008 0 wins 1 loss (Los Angeles Dodgers)
2015 2 wins 0 losses (St. Louis Cardinals)
2015 0 wins 2 losses (New York Mets)

TOTAL 9 wins 21 losses

Shudder. What does this mean for our hometown heroes for the 2016 MLB Playoffs?

NOTHING. NOTHING AT ALL. Babe Ruth isn’t coming to town. Neither is Joe DiMaggio. Not even Will Clark or Steve Garvey or even that Murphy guy. (Sidebar: Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?)

This is a new team, setting new records, reaching to set new standards. Indeed, the first two games of the NLDS are in the books. Two wins. No losses. No further questions.

As the Rolling Stones sang in 1967, “Yesterday don’t matter, if it’s gone.”

FOOTNOTE: I know you baseball historians are thinking. The Cubs were in the World Series in 1918. Wrigley Field was the home of the Cubs that year. Why aren’t those games included?

Because, the 1918 World Series games in Chicago were played at Comiskey Park since the south side park held more fans. Imagine that in these days. The Cubs won one game there and lost two against the Boston Red Sox.

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