At the beginning of every season, baseball fans and pundits play a little game — who will win and who will lose. You have about as much chance of meeting a space alien in your Jacuzzi as you do of guessing the season’s outcome on March 30. As hard as it is to predict the winners, it is even harder to actually win.
With the exception of the Atlanta Braves and the New York Yankees, and for the time being the Oakland Athletics, most teams and their fans know that chances at the ultimate prize, a World Championship are few and far between. The odds against all but the elite franchises who made the playoffs this year playing next October are slim, at best. Most teams watch decades pass between post-season appearances.
As the Florida Marlins celebrated their victory over the Chicago Cubs tonight, Fox focused its camera on one little old red-haired lady wiping tears from her eyes. At best, she was only a little girl the last time the Chicago Cubs played a World Series game. There is some chance, given the difficulty of the task and the vagaries of the game, that the Cubs will not make another post season appearance within the remainder of her lifetime. Harsh to say, but a possible reality. I hope I’m wrong, but if you look at the 2003 Cubs, you don’t see the seeds a potential dynasty. You see a team with flaws, aging stars and only a couple of young studs, who struggled to win 88 games this year and make the post season only by virtue residing in a weak division. The Cubs had the worst winning percentage of any team in the playoffs.
Baseball fans, true baseball fans, share in the disappointment of Cubs fans the nation over. It would have been special to see the Cubs finally make it to the World Series. It will be special, yet, to see the Boston Red Sox make it the World Series. But the Red Sox face a daunting task. Tomorrow, the Red Sox must beat the New York Yankees for the second straight day in Yankee Stadium. A daunting task. So while there will be no dream series between the Cubs and Red Sox, we may yet see the Sox in the big championship. It sure would beat the hell out of a Yankees vs. Marlins series.