So the baseball gods sat down before the division series began and said what can we do to rip Cubs fans' hearts out this time around? The animal curses had been done to death, what with the billy goat in '45 and the black cat in '69, and the strokes of individual bizarreness had run their course after Leon Durham's classic ball-between-the-legs stunt of '84 and the epic for the ages that was Steve Bartman vs. Moises Alou in '03. What to do? They were stumped.
What about this, came a querulous voice from the back of the room. What about a stupefying total team meltdown for the guys who ran up the best record and best offense in the National League? Ooh, this one had merit. The mood around the table grew giddy as they considered the possibilities. First we put the bats to sleep! Yes... Then we make sure the Cubs' number one starter has less control than a Depends convention! Yes, I like it... and then, when the fans have convinced themselves that Game 2 can't possibly be worse? I know! How about the infield backing up Zambrano with an E-3-4-5-6 on the way to giving up ten runs? And after that they just curl up and die in Game 3, right? Right! Awesome!
Hey, guys? One more thing? Whazzat, kid? How about having the Sox come back and win the whole thing? I like the way you think, kid. And they clinked their glasses and drank.
So put away your dreams of a pair of championships on the eights to bookend a century of futility. The baseball gods are sadistic bastards. And they will not be denied.