I wrote last night about a baseball memory involving my childhood trip that included a stop in Montreal to see the Giants.
The good news is that the Giants won last night and now move on to face the Chicago Cubs. I don’t have to explain why I don’t want to see the Cubs win a World Series and escape their history. I can just pass it off based on my love of the Giants and desire to see them beat the Cubs and move on.
The reality though is, even without the Giants participation in the postseason, I wasn’t going to root for the Cubs.
Back in 2004, when the Red Sox finally won a World Series after decades and decades of futility, I rooted hard for them. There was something dramatic and yearning about their quest and it played to something that was fundamental about baseball.
The Cubs history of ineptitude is greater than that of the Red Sox. They went 86 years between World Series victories. The Cubbies? They won the World Series in 1907 and 1908 and have not won since. And they have not even appeared in the World Series since 1945.
And I couldn’t care a bit at all. I actually want their futility to go on and on and on. Maybe it’s because the sport needs a story like this. There must be a team that is the perpetual underdog, the perpetual bad-luck loser. Better them than the Giants, you know.
Maybe it’s because they are in the National League along with the Giants and the Giants have a bit of postseason history with the Cubs in my lifetime and I put them in that group of teams the Giants have faced in the postseason. The teams, as a result, I simply do not want to see ever have success. In that box are the Cubs, the Cardinals, the Angels, the A’s, and others.
I don’t know what it is, but I know this. Even if the Giants weren’t in the post season this year, I would be rooting against the Cubs. I’m cold. I’m heartless. I don’t care about those long-suffering fans that have lived 108 years without a championship and 71 years without an appearance in the postseason. There’s something there that I want to continue. On and on and on.
It is a real and heartbreaking story of the love and passion of a sport, a team, and its fan base and it would be lessened by the ultimate success.
Maybe. Sometimes. The story is better than the result.