California Phil reports from the scene of the crime, though his children were spared the sight of any actual carnage:
A conversation I had with the girl next to me at Dodgers Stadium Friday night pretty much summed it up.
The girl was around 7, quite extroverted and friendly, and attending her first ever game. Despite her allegiances, that thought warmed my heart. Seeing my Cubs hat and shirt, she asked the most innocent of questions: why don't you root for the Dodgers?
My stumbling answer had something to do with the fact that I had been going to Cubs games since I was her age. But it occured to me that being a Cubs fan is like being gay--it certainly would be much easier and less heartbreaking not to be, but it's who we are. (I am a Cubs fan, not that there's anything wrong with that.)
As for the game itself, how does the heartbreak come, let me count the ways. It's tough to measure whether it was more disappointing that the Cubs bullpen blew another game, this time following a monumental comeback, or that I wasn't there to witness the comeback in the first place.
You see, after arriving nearly an hour before the start of the game as I secured tickets only at the box office, and 3 trips to the bathroom with my two sons, 3 trips for food or snacks and an inning or two of actually watching the game, my wife suggested that since the kids were tired (as was she) that we should leave - a 7:40 start didn't help. Given that the Cubs were getting whipped, the fact that they haven't hit for a week, and that Dodgers stadium is a nightmare to get out off, I agreed to go.
My younger son reminded me that last year when we left early we listened to the Cubs win from the parking lot. I don't love that going to the game with the family turns me into a Dodgers fan in the sense that I leave early, but family comes first -- the only comforting thought I suppose after tonight.
And that's what again appeared to happen tonight. We heard lots of noise from the parking lot and by the time we got to the car, the Cubs trailed 5-4. Thrilled by the Cubs performance, and feeling like a complete idiot for agreeing to leave, the Cubs completed their biggest inning of the year as told to me by Charile Steiner and RIck (monotone) Monday on the radio. I got home by the 8th and you know the rest.
The staggering totals:
Witnessed in person: Cubs 1 Dodgers 5
Listened to or heard from the parking lot: Cubs 7 Dodgers 0
Witnessed on TV: Cubs 0 Dodgers 4
Sensory totals: Eyes: Dodgers 9 Cubs 1; Ears: Cubs 7 Dodgers 0
The only conclusion I can reach should be obvious, the Cubs are too painful to watch.
(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian from espn.com)