perhaps it was too good to be true. perhaps history was the better team this year. perhaps next year the same opportunity will present itself yet neither the chicago cubs nor the chicago white sox will do what the new york mets & new york yankees did for their rival fans in 2002. despite all the hype, there will be no subway series in chicago this year: a series which was supposed to generate $120 million for the city.
the western division champion los angeles dodgers surrendered just six runs in three games to the national league's leader in runs scored. led by new manager joe torre & former red sox all-star outfielder manny ramirez - acquired in a stunning mid-season trade - the dodgers will play the eastern division champion philadelphia phillies for a world series berth. philadelphia defeated the wild card milwaukee brewers in four games.
the eastern division champion tampa bay rays, fueled by solid pitching, timely defense & clutch hitting, defeated the white sox in four games. the 2005 world series champion sox had to win three straight games against three different teams, all on the road, to get into the playoffs. after losing the first two games on the road to the exciting & young tampa bay team, the white sox were faced with a similar challenge of having to three consecutive games, a daunting task they were unable to achieve. the wild card & defending champion boston red sox defeated the 100-win anaheim angels in four games & will play tampa bay for the al crown.
it was painful for me to watch the cubs lose in the playoffs. again. why did i think because its been 100 years since the cubs last won the world series they'd historically prevail? most baseball experts lauded the cubs as the team to beat; a virtual shoe-in for the world series. of course folks said the same things about hilary clinton & she's still prolly saying to herself wtf? tho i'm pissed at alfonso soriano for not performing well i'm angrier at manager lou pinella for giving him a leadoff spot when he's primarily a home-run or strikeout artist. my two-cents? the leadoff hitter should be someone who has the patience to take a walk, talent to bunt for a hit and/or the willingness to utilize the entire baseball field when the team needs a hit. soriano is the wrong man for the right job.
i also expected more because the cubs' pitching staff was exemplary this year. in fact, starters ryan dempster & carlos zambrano (who threw a no-hitter this summer), along with reliever kerry wood were all-stars for the first time this year. rookie catcher giovanni soto, anotha first-time all-star, was among five starters (mark derosa, derek lee, aramis ramirez & soriano) who hit 20 or more homers. newly acquired outfielder jim edmonds & pitcher ted lilly played well & gave them much-needed veteran leadership. still, they were unable to move forward in the playoffs.
cubs fans are among the most loyal in america. whenever the cubs play road games their caps, hoodies, jerseys & t-shirts are prominently displayed in the stands. sometimes crowds cheer louder for the cubs than the home team. just as the dallas cowboys were crowned america's (football) team in the 90's, the cubs have become america's team of the 21st century. shame we might have to wait anotha century before they actually win a championship worthy of america's praise. perhaps in 2009 we'll see a subway series between the cubs & white sox. tomorrow i'm going to subway to get a foot long veggie delight. at $5 a pop, you can't beat that with a bat.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.