Curses!

The definitive all-encompassing 2016 World Series preview

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There are no curses left in the world. None. Break a mirror? It’s fine. Open all your umbrellas indoors? Rock an empty rocking chair, cross a black cat, walk under a ladder, step on a crack, stay in room 1313 on Friday the 13th — that’s all over with.

The Chicago Cubs are in the World Series. They are playing the Cleveland Indians. And one of these teams will WIN the World Series. The age of curses is over!

Hi everyone. Mike Schur here. Just popping in real quick, right here at the beginning of this piece, with a public service announcement: There is no such thing as curses. Joe is waxing poetic here, and I know that he knows that there is no such thing as curses, but anytime anyone mentions a “curse,” with respect to baseball franchises and their histories of futility, I feel the need to remind everyone that there is no such thing as curses. There is only decades-old systemic mismanagement, and haplessness, and random chance. So, really, that first paragraph should technically read thus:

“There are no curses. None. There never have been. The Cubs were owned by incompetent owners and run by a string of mostly incompetent general managers and managed by mostly incompetent managers, and now they are not. So. The Chicago Cubs are in the World Series.”

(It’s not as fun. I get it.)

Hey, wait a minute — how did you get in here?

You shared the Google doc with me, man. This is 100 percent on you.

I don’t know technology, man. Anyway, if I had known we were doing this together again, I would have toned down the opening a little bit. It’s true, there are no such things as curses. Michael and I, when we have the time, do plan on going on a national mission to force hotel management teams to call their 13th floor “the 13th floor,” because we do not believe that we can advance as a species until this is done.

That and ending “Black Friday” shopping riots. We are doomed as a people until there are no more humans injured in shopping malls trying to fight each other over a 20-percent-discounted flat screen TV.

So yes, it’s also true that the Chicago Cubs have not made the World Series for the last 71 years because:

  1. For a time, kooky owner Philip K. Wrigley did not believe in farm systems. He thought the minor leagues should be entirely independent, a noble thought that wasn’t shared by the Dodgers, Giants and Braves. So those teams won. And the Cubs lost.

Shocking.

  1. For a time, kooky owner Philip K. Wrigley believed in sending a hypnotist on the road with the team to put hexes on opponents. This did not work.

Shocking.

The Cubs then tried an experiment where they would rotate managers throughout the year. This also did not work.

Had a better chance of working than the hex thing.

  1. The Cubs had a few teams good enough to get to the World Series. They just didn’t. They lost decisive playoff games in 1984 and 2003, not because of curses or a loyal fan named Steve Bartman, but because even really good baseball teams lose quite often.

The Cubs’ history is the light beer version of the Red Sox’s history. At least the Cubs’ owner wasn’t a virulent racist (as far as I know), who had the chance to sign Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays and passed on both of them because, um, they weren’t good enough to make the team? (Sure, let’s go with that.) These “cursed” teams are just franchises run by goobers who actively hurt their own on-field product with incompetence.

You would have to think that even the biggest racists in Boston at that time would have thought — “Yeah, I know, but he’s WILLIE MAYS!”

Anyway, the story of racist and dimwitted owners bumbling through history with ludicrous free agent signings and 10-cent beer nights is so much less poetic. We’re writers man. It’s baseball. Can’t we at least use the Billy Goat curse and Curse of Chief Wahoo as a background to tell the story of this landmark World Series between Chicago and Cleveland, the two most cursed baseball teams in America?

No.

OK, then. To be fair, there was a wonderful moment of non-curse clarity in the ninth inning of the Cubs’ super-simple 5-0 clinching victory over the Dodgers in Game 6. Aroldis Chapman was pitching, which, admittedly, doesn’t perfectly fit the Disneyesque ending. One out. Dodgers catcher Carlos Ruiz was at the plate.

Ruiz turned on a Chapman fastball but didn’t quite get it — he pulled it foul. The ball floated toward the left-field stands and into the same general area where in 2003 Steve Bartman innocently reached for a foul ball and had the entire world crash down on him. It wasn’t exactly the same spot, but it was close enough to unearth that memory.

What was striking was that nobody cared. There wasn’t any sense of foreboding, no scary music, no shadows lurking in the dark. It was like dad FINALLY walked into the kids’ closet, opened it up and shouted “See! No monsters in here! Go to sleep!” The super-talented Cubs kids didn’t worry AT ALL about ghosts or skeletons or witches or any of that Halloween stuff. They just decided to win, because (gasp) they are better at baseball.

So, I’m a Red Sox fan. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned that before.

What? Boston Red Sox? When did this happen?

And this is exactly the point that gave me comfort, back in 2004, when things got dicey — none of the players cared about Babe Ruth, curses, Johnny Pesky holding the ball, Bucky Dent, any of it. I would repeat that to myself, over and over: “Kevin Millar does not care about Bucky Dent. Bill Mueller does not care about Bucky Dent. Manny Ramirez has never heard of Bucky Dent, and certainly doesn’t care about Bucky Dent, and also literally does not know the names of half of his own teammates.” The same is certainly true of this Cubs team. Javier Baez is way too busy doing superhuman baseball things to think about the ancient history of the city he plays in.

This gets to the heart of baseball — of sports — in so many ways. We assign so much meaning to everything these players do, right? Curses. Legends. Myths. We turn losing streaks into existential crises and good coaching moves into fits of surpassing brilliance and crucial sports confrontations into epic poems — the pitcher, the hitter, all them reaching within, summoning the courage and grit and audacity, finding the hero inside. We do this because it makes sports fun. But, realistically, Manny Ramirez hit .327 in his career with runners in scoring position and I doubt there were any sonnets going off in his brain at that moment.

In 1994, Manny Ramirez walked into his clubhouse (in Cleveland) and saw people gathered around the TV, talking about how the police were looking for O.J.  He then got very concerned, because he didn’t know what his teammate, Chad Ogea, had done to make the police look for him.

He never thought about the historical implications of the Red Sox’s futility streak. I promise.

Now, it’s true, Manny Ramirez is a bit of an extreme example. But I suspect that most player mindsets are much closer to that of Manny than that of, say, Roger Angell or Bob Costas or someone finding the larger meaning of it all. My suspicion is that if the Chicago players — or Cleveland’s players — start to think about what has happened in their city the last half-century, what their teams have come to represent, what winning might mean to all those people that are being written about, they will collapse into a heap of stammers and coughs.

But they won’t. That’s the whole point. The final double-play groundball of the Cubs-Dodgers series went Addison Russell-to-Baez-to-Anthony Rizzo — sort of a modern day Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance — and they executed it perfectly because they’ve trained to do it that way. And they weren’t thinking about billy goats or black cats or Ernie Banks. They’re kids who play baseball with joy and preposterous skill.

Here’s what’s scary: they’re not only the best team in baseball, they’re also one of the youngest. Russell is 22 years old. Baez is 23. Bryant is 24. Rizzo, the grizzled veteran, is 27. That’s your infield — all of them All-Stars — for the next five years, at least. They’re so good they could absorb losing 23-year-old Kyle Schwarber for the year, and skip right over Jason Heyward’s 26-year-old season being a complete wash, and not miss a beat. This team is so young! I bet every night after the game David Ross has to dress all of them in their grown-up clothes and make sure they drink their juice.

David Ross is 39 years old. I remember a time, not so long ago, when I thoroughly enjoyed making fun of 39-year-old athletes. Here’s a cool little bit on David Ross: He has hit 106 career home runs, which means he has had a very nice career. Can you name the pitcher off whom he hit his first homer? It was first baseman Mark Grace, who was put into the game because Arizona had run out of pitchers. The homer made the score 18-1.

And while we’re talking David Ross trivia, do you know how he got into that game? He came in as a pinch-hitter for … current Dodgers manager Dave Roberts! Nutty!

David Ross is a low-key baseball Forrest Gump.

Do you think this is the kind of trivial nonsense that makes non-baseball fans despise the game and us?

Who cares? It’s awesome.

The Cubs really are absurdly young. And that means they will probably be the favorite to win the World Series for the next five years. In other words, they better enjoy being the lovable Cubs because, as Red Sox fans know (you are a Red Sox fan, right?), that lovability goes away quickly. After this Cubs team has won three World Series in five years, EVERYONE will despise them.

MORE: HardballTalk’s World Series preview | Game 1 reset: Lester vs. Kluber

But the Cubs are lovable now, and this is awkward for my hometown of Cleveland. You might have heard this: Cleveland has had its own sports demons. Cleveland had a nice run as the lovable team. Now Clevelanders are like: “Hey, over here, um, you know, those Cubs have not won since 1908, we get it, but, just so you know, we haven’t won a World Series since 1948. That’s also a long time ago.”

And the whole country is like: “YOU GOT YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP! SHUT UP!”

If the Indians win, maybe people would start to grumble about Cleveland. But a city that’s been in the drought Cleveland’s been in gets at least two before everyone turns on them for no reason. Plus, you’ll always have the Browns to keep you humble.

You had to bring up the Browns, didn’t you? Worst team in sports, right? I mean, nobody else is pulling off the Marx Brothers routine with the panache and spectacular comedic timing as the Browns.

The Browns are remarkable. They never get better. How is it possible, to never get any better?

Turns out if you keep drafting terrible players, the team doesn’t get any better. Who knew?

We’ve gone over how there aren’t any real curses left in the world, but I think even two grounded, worldly, skeptical people can admit that Theo Epstein is a witch, right? Or wizard, whatever.

Let’s go with wizard. Or supergenius. Or “Mike’s Best Friend, Probably, If They Ever Hung Out.”

Really? OK, yeah, I can see it. Theo would have to be on anybody’s top five, “Guys that you really wish were your best friend,” list. I’m thinking the list should look like this:

  1. Lin Manuel-Miranda
  2. Theo Epstein
  3. Nick Offerman
  4. Steph Curry
  5. James Corden

My list:

  1. Theo Epstein
  2. David Ortiz
  3. Steph Curry
  4. Beyoncé
  5. Whoever Beyoncé’s actual best friend Is (so I’d be one degree of separation away from Beyoncé)

Back to Theo — it seems to me everyone in America can agree now that after ending the Boston Red Sox drought AND ending the Chicago Cubs drought in the same lifetime, he should be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame immediately — no voting, no waiting period. And just inducting him is not enough. They should have a “Theo Epstein Hall of Fame Week” in Cooperstown — like Shark Week but with Cracker Jack — and then they should rename various baseball actions after him, like the double play (“grounder to short, flip to second, over to first, that’s a Theo Epstein and the inning is over”).

I think there’s a very good case to make that no matter what happens, he has sealed his induction. Right? How many GMs have had better runs? With two “cursed” teams? Here are the only things he could do, at this point, that would be more impressive than what he has done:

  1. Take over the Cleveland Browns and win a Super Bowl
  2. Become Prime Minister of Mauritius and turn it into a global superpower
  3. Run Curt Schilling’s campaign for Massachusetts senator and get him to within 30 percent of a win

You’re a Boston fan, right? This whole Schilling-running-for-office thing has to sting.

Yes, not sure I’ve mentioned this but I am a Boston fan. We’re all trying to ignore it. He’s making it hard, but we’re trying. Curt, if you’re reading this, I beg you: Do not run for Senate. Go ahead and tweet whatever you want — it’s a free country, and we can all mute you, so go nuts. But don’t run. Every time you open your mouth, it’s like learning that Gregory Peck used to torture animals for sport.

Back to Theo again. People are always trying to get him to say which achievement he finds more rewarding: Red Sox or Cubs? I’ve personally heard him asked that question a dozen times … and that was BEFORE the Cubs even got to the World Series.

Seems to me that’s a pretty cynical question. Hey, Shakespeare, what did you like better, MacBeth or Hamlet? I mean, this guy guided the team of his childhood, the team his family idolized, to its first World Series in 86 years. And then he built baseball’s punchline, the Chicago Cubs, from the ground up, and now they’ve reached their first World Series since World War II.

Why does one have to be better? I mean, can’t he enjoy them both equally?

He’d never say it, but I think he might be “prouder” of this one. Simply because when he took over, the cupboard was so bare. In Boston, when he took over, they had Pedro Martinez, Manny, Johnny Damon and Nomar Garciaparra, plus Kevin Youkilis in the minors. He made a string of brilliant moves, but they had a core, and the Cubs had nothing close to that core. Boston’s win might have made him happier, but I bet a Cubs win would make him prouder.

That’s a fair point. I know that after that stunning early success in Boston, Epstein craved the chance to build his own team. Boston was, as you might know, a blend of many different visions. Theo used to talk about the romance of taking over some small-market team like Milwaukee or Minnesota and somehow making them a winner despite the limitations. I can remember telling him that, having been around small-market teams, it ain’t that romantic.

Then he got the PERFECT situation — a big-market team that had small-market sensibilities. I know he has loved working with GM Jed Hoyer and many other people to create a whole new vision for the Chicago Cubs (the first year, he proudly showed me this manual they called “The Cubs Way!” I think there was an exclamation point). And then, after they created that small-market vision, hey, what do you know, the Cubs had a few hundred-million dollars to get Jon Lester and Heyward (sigh) and Ben Zobrist.

In that way, yes, I suspect the Cubs achievement does give him a bigger sense of pride. But I would bet he likes both accomplishments equally.

One of the cool things about this World Series is that I think you are matching up the two best managers in baseball. Well, two of the top three — you have to throw Bruce Bochy in there. But if I was a baseball owner and I could hire any manager on earth, I’d only have three interviews. One would be Joe Maddon. Two would be Terry Francona. Three would be Beyonce.

See, I’d meet with Beyoncé first, then Tito, then Joe. I bet ‘Bey has some very advanced ideas about infield platoons.

Well, she is ***Flawless. See how I brought in a once hip pop-culture reference to make this thing lit?

Yes. Great work, grandpa.

These kids with their rock and roll and the pants hanging down … hey, how do you do that with Beyonce? Get the little e thing on the end? Beyoncé — like that?

Yes. Option-e, then e again. (This is riveting journalism, right now.)

Wow: é. Anyway, what makes Maddon and Francona so good? When I asked Epstein about his manager, he didn’t talk about Maddon’s practical tactical brilliance. He talked about how COOL Maddon is. As subjective as that is, I think there’s something to it. Yes, Maddon and Francona are strategists who push baseball boundaries. Yes, they both have a great sense for the moment — when to take the big gamble, when to hold back. Yes, they both know how to motivate players and they’re not weak-kneed about confrontation.

But beyond all that, Maddon and Tito are just cool people, the sort of people you want to do well for. Have you ever had a boss like that?

…I mean, sure, they seem “cool.” I think what makes them good is that they do things like use Andrew Miller in high-leverage situations in the fifth inning, and employ well-researched defensive shifts.

Or maybe it’s your “rad boss” theory.

You mock, but there are plenty of good tactical managers out there. That is undoubtedly part of it, a big part. I think there’s something else too. Let’s face it: These are kids playing baseball. Even the veterans are mostly in their late 20s and early 30s. They are a few years out of high school and college and they are talented and rich and beloved and in demand. They play 200 games together in a year, including spring training and postseason, and they lose a whole bunch of them, and they go into nasty slumps that they can’t explain, and some smart-ass on the radio or on Twitter rips them and … I’m just saying I’d sure as heck like Maddon as my manager. Or Francona. Or Beyonce (Beyoncé).

I heard Maddon on Mike and Mike, and they asked him what he said to his team after they got shut out twice in a row, and were down 2-1 to the Dodgers. He said, “I didn’t say anything.” I believe him — I feel like he isn’t the guy to give some big speech. He has low blood pressure. My favorite Maddon quote was when he was asked, last year, about feeling the pressure of the Cubs making a playoff run under the shadow of the “curse,” and he said, “I don’t vibrate at that frequency.” That’s a great quote. So maybe you’re right — it is that he’s a cool dude.

You mentioned Andrew Miller, which I think is a nice transition to the “analytical” portion of our World Series preview. We definitely need something witty to call it like Phil Simms’ “Phil-osophy.”

How about: “Joe and Mike’s Rambling World Series Preview-slash-Beyoncé Appreciation Hour?”

Perfect. And don’t forget, “Plus sly little Hamilton references that most people will miss.” For Cleveland, clearly, it all comes down to two players. Well, it doesn’t really, it never comes down to two players, but you can’t have one of these analytical breakdowns without oversimplifying everything and avoiding the nuances and complications of real life.

But you have to make them so big and broad that you can claim you were right. “Phil-osophy: This Super Bowl will come down to two things: The Broncos’ defense, and Cam Newton’s ability to score points.”

The first of those players is Miller, Cleveland’s dark lord reliever who in these playoffs has this line:

11.2 innings, five hits, zero runs, two walks, 21 strikeouts, .355 OPS against.

That’s scary stuff, almost as scary as his awesome beard.  I’m not really a beard guy, but it works for him. The Yankees made a terrible mistake making him shave that beard … oh, and also trading him.

Miller is worth a whole column of his own. He was a can’t-miss prospect as a starter, the sixth pick overall. Then he washed out of Detroit and Florida, and nearly out of Boston. I mean, the guy couldn’t throw a strike to save his life. As a starter, he walked between five and NINE guys per nine innings. Then, Boston converted him to a reliever, he cut his walks by two-thirds, and now he’s maybe the best three-to-six out pitcher in the game. You referred to him in our PosCast as a “superweapon.” That’s an apt analysis.

Let’s give our pal Brandon McCarthy his due for the Miller line of the postseason when he wrote: “Baseball is so rooted in traditions that hitters still take their bats to the plate against Andrew Miller even though they’re not needed.”

Miller does feel like a modern superweapon. He’s not — he’s more of a throwback to the 1970s fireman than a new invention. But it has been so long since anyone has seen anything like him (and no fireman in the 1970s was a 6-foot-6 lefty with a high-90s fastball and a blood-curdling slider). He pitches two innings every single time that Cleveland is in a winnable game. I can’t help but wonder if Miller is the guy who finally breaks managers out of their boring one-inning closer cycle.

If not he, than who?

Chapter review question: Buck Showalter. Why? Discuss.

You’re talking about him not using Zach Britton, I assume. In which case the answer is: “Because he blew it.”

In the meantime, with Cleveland’s rotation a wreck, it sure seems like Miller is Cleveland’s one hope against this Cubs lineup. He might pitch two innings every game. Maybe three. Heck, he might just start every game that Corey Kluber cannot (Kluber and Miller/and the rest is all filler).

This is where we point out how amazing it is that the Indians are in the World Series despite losing Danny Salazar (for a long time) and Carlos Carrasco (for the season). Amazing.

Definitely amazing. And don’t forget Michael Brantley — he was the team’s best hitter. He’s missed almost the whole year.

The other Cleveland player to talk about: Francisco Lindor. I’m going to make a hard admission. Many people know that the Derek Jeter lovefest drove me absolutely crazy. It wasn’t Jeter himself — he was a fantastic player, a Hall of Famer, etc. But if anything good happened on planet Earth, big or small — a war ended, a stray dog was taken in, a lost iPad was returned, a disease was cured — Derek Jeter got the credit.

The New York Times headline on Aug. 14, 1945 was “JAPAN SURRENDERS, END OF WAR, PEACE TREATY PAVES WAY FOR DEREK JETER’S BIRTH IN 29 YEARS”

Now, I’m still against giving a player an overwhelming amount of credit for stuff that he has nothing to do with. But after watching Lindor with Cleveland … I understand the impulse. Lindor is a very good baseball player — a superior defender, a good hitter, a fine base-runner.

But he also has this thing, the thing Jeter had, I don’t know, this energy, this charisma, this presence, and you see how his teammates respond to him, you see how the fans respond to him, you see how he’s the ONLY Cleveland guy hitting in the postseason (rest of the team hit .138 in Toronto series). And, yes, you find yourself thinking that this guy never does anything wrong and is responsible for all good things in the world.

It’s very exciting to think about Lindor and Baez on baseball’s biggest stage. Two remarkable all-around players. Defensive magicians. They are about to become un-anonymous.

Javy Baez. Now THAT is a whole column waiting to happen. But we’re 200,000 words into this one and so we have to go on. Leave it at this — Javy Baez: Wow.

The Cubs are easier to analyze: They’re awesome. The whole team. They’re have the best starting pitching in baseball. They have a ridiculous lineup with fantastic young hitters. They are an absurdly great fielding team. They’re better than a healthy Cleveland team. They’re considerably better than this Cleveland team.

They would basically have every check mark on the matchup chart except bullpen — and the guy at the end of their bullpen throws 87 million mph.

I am going out on a limb here: I think their reliance on Chapman is their weakness. Yes, he throws impossibly hard, but he is hittable. He is more hittable than Kenley Jansen, more hittable than Miller for sure — and in his career he has walked more than four guys per nine innings. He would make me very nervous, were I a Cubs fan.

Totally agree. If the score is tied in the sixth or later, I’d feel better about Cleveland’s pen. If the Cubs are up one run, I don’t think the Cleveland hitters would feel the same helplessness as Cubs hitters might against Miller. Still, it should be said again that Chapman throws 87,000,000 mph.

And it’s baseball. It’s a short series. Jared Diamond at the Wall Street Journal just wrote a piece about how the Cubs are so good they have (to quote the headline) “built a team to transcend the crapshoot nature of playoff baseball.”

 

Well, I don’t buy that at all. The Cubs needed a miracle inning to beat the Giants in Game 4 or else they would have faced a rested Johnny Cueto and the indestructible Madison Bumgarner in Game 5. Heck, it was only a few days ago that the Cubs were down 2-1 to the Dodgers and, realistically, they got some help from the Dodgers in the one game they won. I don’t think any team is built so well that they are immune to the crapshootiness of baseball.

The Warriors lost. The 18-0 Patriots lost. The 116-win Mariners lost. No team in any sport is immune to short-series variance. Except the 2016-17 Warriors. They are going to win every game they play, by 50, with their starters playing 18 minutes a game.

The crapshootiness — I like that word — gives us some legitimate questions to ask:

First: Will Cleveland run wild on Jon Lester, who seems unable to make a pickoff throw to first base?

Here’s something you don’t know about me: I’m a Red Sox fan.

Wait? Since when?

And I have to say that Terry Francona instructing his players to take advantage of Jon Lester’s throwing-to-first-base yips fills me with a deep existential sadness that I’m not sure I will be able to come back from. If Mike Napoli, or Coco Crisp, steals on Lester at Francona’s command, I will start crying very hard.

The Lester throwing yips is one of the weirdest things in the world, right? I mean throwing a baseball is ALL HE DOES. He has impeccable command and control when pitching a baseball but he can’t flip a ball to first base? I know there are other examples of such maladies, like Mackey Sasser’s inability to throw the ball back to the pitcher. But Lester’s thing feels different. I mean: His whole job is throwing a baseball, something he does about as well as anyone on earth. It’s like finding out that Eric Clapton can’t play “Louie Louie.”

What’s even weirder is that the Dodgers didn’t try to take advantage of it, more. He has managed to compensate a little by varying his pause, and by shortening his leg kick out of the stretch, but he literally can’t throw to first. Why are you not running on every pitch?!

That was weird, wasn’t it? The Dodgers’ runners would take these HUGE leads, like they were on the playground shouting “Na-na-na–boo-boo!” just DARING Lester to throw over — and he would not. And instead of just taking the stolen base, they would go back to the bag as he pitched like, “Aw! That didn’t work.”

Second question: What the heck has happened to Jason Heyward? I mean, it’s true, he was never a GREAT hitter. He made his bones (and his $184 million contract) with versatility and multiple talents. He’s a great outfielder. He’s a terrific base-runner. He hit well enough and with some power. He was a package deal, like one of those do-everything gadgets you get at Brookstone.

Now: Can’t hit. I mean: CANNOT HIT. It’s like an amnesia scene in a movie. He’s hitting .071 in the postseason, and he’s looked worse than that. I’m not exactly sure what Maddon does with him.

He plays him, I think, against righties. But he is the first guy out in a double switch. Every at-bat is fastball strike one, fastball strike two, slider down-and-in strike three (swinging). He’s utterly lost. If the rest of that Cubs lineup weren’t so deep and solid, he would be getting an enormous amount of scrutiny. (But also, this is the World Series, and if he hits one seventh-inning home run to put his team up in a game they win, all is forgotten.)

If he strikes out, though, with the bases loaded in the ninth, it becomes a much bigger deal.

So, yeah, if you want to pick at the Cubs’ scabs, you can. Which Jake Arrieta will we see? Will the Cubs’ bats go silent again like they did for periods in the Giants and Dodgers series? Can Cleveland win Kansas City Royals-style: scrape together for a few runs, shorten the game and then blow the Cubs away in the late innings with their bullpen?

Possible. But, there’s this: The Chicago Cubs are the best team in baseball. That doesn’t stop sounding weird, but it is true. They’re one of the best teams so far this century, I think. And it sure feels like this is their year.

Agree. To quote the Mountain Goats: Cubs in Five.

You just quoted the Mountain Goats. I think Cubs in six or seven, but holding out for the hometown Tribe. One thing I think we can all agree on is that the Curse of Chief Wahoo is much more powerful than the Curse of the Billy Goat.

Objection. Asked and answered.

  1. Maybe this will be the Series that Cleveland finally decides to retire that logo. Can’t they just see that the “C” is SO MUCH BETTER … and also does not mock an entire group of people? Can’t they just let it disappear?

Now THAT is something we can all root for.

Also Beyonce. Or, sorry, Beyoncé.