FINAL: Cubs 8 Indians 7 (10 innings) Cubs win series 4-3.
Wait ‘til next year? No. Don’t. It IS next year. At last. “Wait ‘til next year” was so much a part of lives of Chicago Cubs that Wednesday’s World Series win almost drew that response from fans. They’ve had more than a century of practice and the reaction has been reduced to involuntary.
The Cubs hadn’t made it to a World Series since 1945. And they hadn’t won one since 1908. One hundred and eight years of “wait ‘til next year.” And next year finally arrived.
Chicago, ahead 6-3 until the 8th inning, when Cleveland tied it up. Still tied in the 9th. An extra inning coming, and we’ll be right back to play it after this rain shower. Seventeen minutes of rain.
That’s so theatrical you’d think it had been scripted. But how do you script a downpour? When play resumed Chicago pulled ahead for good.
OK, folks, it’s only a ball game, right? Nah. It’s not. It’s an exciting moment in what used to be America’s pastime -- which now is arguing about emails and obamacare and wikileaks and Syria and Brexit and immigration.
Even those of us who don’t pay attention to baseball unless the Yankees are playing in the postseason, this cliff hanger of a series got plenty of attention.
After game three, Cleveland was one game away from a sweep. Then the Cubs came back to win four in a row. That doesn’t happen, does it?
Well, yes it does. Yes it did.
And in game 7, the senior citizens held the key to victory when Chicago second baseman Ben Zobrist hit a double and with a single from Miguel Montero pushed two runners in.
Senior citizens? The average age of a major league baseball player is 26-ish. Zobrist is 35. Montero is 33. Roll out the wheelchairs.
That this happened wasn’t exactly a shocker. Chicago won 103 games this year, the most in the majors. A season like that can scare you. What tragedy will befall “us” as we start the World Series? What curse will grip? Some clever sports writers said Chicago won “with help from above.” Yeah. Rain comes from above and gave new life to the fading hopes.
“You can’t tell players they’re in a first rate organization and give them third rate facilities.” -- Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts in Time Magazine after buying the club for $845 million from the Chicago Tribune and pouring another half billion into renovating storied but crumbling Wrigley Field.
A glimmer of hope about the election comes from an unlikely source, the Country Music Association’s annual awards program… on TV at the same time as the Series game. A lot of well received joking and parodies of Donald Trump, unusual for a group that tends to vote Republican but is generally silent in public about politics. If Trump can’t win the country music voters, chances are he can’t win America.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016