Earlier this evening, while listening to the player introductions before World Series Game One, I decided to play a little game with myself and imagine that it was the Cubs, not Colorado, taking the field against the mighty Red Sox. It was Alfonso Soriano, not Willy Taveras, stepping in against Josh Beckett to start the game; Ted Lilly, not Jeff Francis, facing the fearsome Boston lineup.

(I know Carlos Zambrano probably would have been our Game One starter, but since Lilly is a lefty just like Francis, it made for an easier self-deception. I only have so much imagination.)

Funny thing is, the longer the game went on and the larger the Boston lead grew, the easier it was to imagine the Cubs out there. I actually felt anxiety pangs in the home half of the first when Dustin Pedroia connected for a lead-off homer and then Kevin Youkilis continued the assault, etc., etc., etc.

Damn Cubs. Even when they're not playing, they make me sick to my stomach.

And if this is, indeed, destined to be the World Series when the Red Sox are fully transformed from the underdog darlings of everyone outside New York into the new playground bullies, they're certainly off to a good start.


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