|Could This be the Year?|
Written by Paul Keen (Contact & Archive) on May 13, 2008
The Cubs last won the World Series in 1908, but the curse originated in 1945.Â A local shop owner brought a goat to Game 4 of the World Series against the Detroit Tigers.Â The owner had the goat thrown out under the accusation that the smell of the livestock was upsetting the fans.Â The owner, a Greek immigrant, walked his goat around Wrigley field allegedly placing a curse on them so that they would never win a World Series again.Â Since then, the Cubs have not won a single World Series.
There have been close calls with the Cubs, but they always seem to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.Â 2008 has the Cubs fighting against the odds once again, and the results are apparent.Â The Cubbies are ranked second in the NL Central, they have a 21-15 record, and they have scored 205 runs this year making them one of the top teams batting-wise.Â Being in second place, and with such an impressive record, this leaves them in the top spot for the National League Wild Card title.Â While it is early in the season, it is possible to hang onto that spot.Â And the Cubs might only be moving up from here.
Alfonso Soriano has the worst batting average in the starting lineup. While he may be in a slump right now, Soriano has the ability to get up and moving again, and Pinella has no intention of taking him out.Â This, combined with the not-so-stellar teams of the NL Central, could have the Cubs occupying the top spot as they did in 2007 (or at least the Wild Card).Â Which begs the question, whatâs stopping them?
The answer to this question is every team not in the NL Central.Â In short, the post-season could stop them.Â Aside from the Cardinals, the NL Central does not have a lot of teams with a competitive edge or a history of winning.Â However, once you step outside of the NL Central you are dealing with much heavier competition.Â Even if you can make it past the dominant forces of the National League (the Mets, the D-Backs, et. al) you would still have to compete with the American League teams who have won 61 World Series titles in the last 103 years.Â Is it impossible for the Cubs to win?Â Certainly not.Â Is it improbable?Â Statistics say so.Â Is it going to be difficult?Â Absolutely.
Although most ball players say they donât really buy into rivalries and superstitions, it has to weigh on their minds a little.Â This 99 year drought is a record that isnât held by any other team.Â But this year, they have the talent and Pinella at the helm.Â However, in order for them to appear threatening to any other team in the big leagues, they will have to do more than they are doing in the NL Central right now.Â They must dominate the NL Central, and they have to dominate without any question marks on their ability to be a World Championship team.Â Even then, the Cubs will have to continue that domination against some of the hardest teams in the National and American league.Â Otherwise, the end of the 2008 season will be met with the same phrase uttered in Chicago for the past 99 years.Â Wait âtil next year.Â