Well, it's a sad day. The Cubs lost yesterday. Their season is over as the Arizona Diamondbacks completed a three game sweep to win the divisional playoff series. I watched most of the game. I have this image of horror where Aramis Ramirez, the Cubs fearsome slugger was at the plate. Two runners on base. The count was three balls and no strikes. I thought 'he's got to have the green light (to swing) here, he's the leading producer of runs batted in on the team'. The next pitch seemed to float in. Belt high. A fastball. Just where I've seen him hit balls into the next state in the past. He let it by. Didn't even swing. the next pitch was a strike. He didn't swing. Then the next pitch was a strike at the knees. He didn't even swing the bat. This was a snapshot of how the Cubs played in the three games with Arizona.
On the way home two things happened. I was listening, briefly, to grown men calling in to the post-game show, showing a variety of emotions. Yes, in fact these men were showing emotion. One comment penetrated deep. A caller asked "Based on what I've seen today, why should I keep watching this team?" A valid question.
Then, my cell phone rang and it was my friend Ed Ether, wondering how I was doing with this new pain in my life. He and his wife, Ms Ether, were wondering if they needed to do some kind of intervention. I thanked Ed, said no, and finished my drive home haunted by the caller's question. Why DO I keep watching this team that has failed to win a World Series since my grandmother was in her late teens (that would be 1908).
Today it came to me. Yes, the Cubs season is over. Soon the Lake Michigan winds will grow colder. Wrigley Field will be covered with snow and ice. But in February, something will happen in Florida. Spring training. The new little Cubs (and the old ones) will leave their den and migrate north to Chicago where they will rise like a phoenix. Resurrection. Happens every year. New hope. My prediction-----and you read it hear first, folks----is that the Cubs WILL win the World Series next year. Let's make it an even century, guys. Hey, anyone can have a bad century now and then. Baseball is not a religion, but it does have resurrection.