Sunday, October 30, 2016
Fire When Ready
I should probably restate the fact that I go to college in New York, in the Westchester area. It's an arts school, and there's not a lot of sports presence, so I can wear my menagerie of hats, and Philly sports jerseys, and nobody really bats an eye.
Tonight, I was returning my girlfriend to her apartment after a night in, spent watching the timeless classic Shaun of the Dead. And there was a Halloween party going on downstairs from my apartment, which I wasn't planning on attending (as I was kind of tired). As I was coming down the stairs, a few people saw my Cubs cap, and immediately, even in their semi-drunken state, offered me condolences. One of them even offered me a beer. At this point, I knew the Cubs were losING, not that they'd lost.
And sure enough, by the time I returned home I had to step through the pack of people. One of them patted me on the back, saying "I owe you one".
I turned to him, sort of smirking, and gave the traditional Cub fan optimism: "Game 5 we're gonna kill it." Since I was 100% sober, I did my absolute best to act like I was even the slightest bit tipsy, which worked.
He brought up Corey Kluber, and the fact that he's been unhittable in two games. And yes, he was right. After this postseason, Kluber will go from a one-year fluke to one of the most consistent strikeout pitchers in baseball, and someone who's essentially the next Bert Blyleven.
I rebutted with "next game they play Trevor Bauer, and they could hit about 50 home runs off of him". Which, to my credit, the guy agreed with. We settled on the fact that he felt sorry for me, but, as a Mets fan, he felt my pain. And I entered my apartment and wished him a good night.
I don't get a lot of good sports conversations where I'm at, and most of them involve me having to defend not only Philadelphia sports teams, but Philadelphia sports FANS, but the one I had tonight was a good one. I came to terms with the morality of the team I was rooting for, and the fact that, with my blind faith in the team despite the most hostile of outlooks, I had become a true Cubs fan, despite growing up in New Jersey.
Tonight, the Indians took hold, as I only assumed they would, homering John Lackey, as well as the relief crew, and giving Corey Kluber some more creds for his inevitable World Series MVP trophy. Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana had the offensive highlights, and Terry Francona remained an evil genius in the postseason. They're one game away from winning the World Series, which is pretty crazy, but sad considering that the Cubs would have to lose.
Still...all it takes is one game for everything to turn around. Could Game 5 be that game? Only one way to find out.