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View Poll Results: What do the Cubs have to do to win a World Series Again?
Fire Don Baylor-New Manager 1 25.00%
Allow a goat into the ballpark 0 0%
Make Big Trade for Jason Giambi 0 0%
Allow Mark Prior to be on the 5 Man Rotation Now 1 25.00%
Pray Pray Pray 2 50.00%
Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-30-2002, 07:58 AM   #1
bama4256
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Default Are the Cubs Cursed Too?

Got this article off of ESPN-Cool story on Cubs


Cubbies cursed again
by Gene Wojciechowski



The easy answer is to fire Don Baylor. Can him. Pink-slip him. Grab a fork and knife and chow down on the remaining time on his Chicago Cubs contract. Thatís what the Detroit Tigers did with Phil Garner, what the Milwaukee Brewers did with Davey Lopes, what the Colorado Rockies did with Buddy Bell.

But these are the Cubs weíre talking about. The same Cubs who are working on their second 100-year plan. The Cubs who havenít won a World Series since 1908, who havenít played in a Fall Classic since 1945, when they were managed by a man whose last name perfectly describes the franchiseís history: Grimm.

I used to cover the Cubs for the Chicago Tribune. It wasnít much of a tenure -- from winter of 1995, through spring training of 1996, through June 19 of that year. I still have the scorebook. Appropriately enough, they lost that day, a 13-inning little heartbreaker to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Chan Ho Park got the win in relief, Terry Adams got the loss. Time of nightmare: 4 hours, 59 minutes.

Afterward, I stopped by the locker stall of a Cubs veteran. The name doesnít matter. He took a pull on his postgame cigarette, flicked the ashes onto the clubhouse floor and waited for a question. Instead, I told him this was my last game on the beat and I thanked him for his help during the previous six months.

"Oh, yeah?" he said. "Where you going?"

"Atlanta," I said. "Theyíre reassigning me to the Olympics."

The player took another drag from his cigarette, looked up and said, "Can I go too?"

In case youíre wondering, the C on the Cubs ballcap stands for "Cursed." Boston Red Sox followers swear by (and at) the Curse of the Bambino, so named for the after-effects of the December 1919 sale of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. The Red Sox havenít won a World Series since 1918. Bill Buckner can tell you all about it.

But the Cubs have been tortured by two curses: first, the Curse of the Billy Goat (the goat and its owner were turned away at the Wrigley Field gates, decades of losing followed), and now the latest spell, the Curse of the Security Screens.

If you havenít already seen the gawd-awful screens on WGN, hereís the deal: Cubs management, tired of losing ticket revenue to the apartment building owners whose roofs overlook the ballyard, added the blue screens as a sight-line deterrent. Controversy ensued along these battle lines: corporate monolith Tribune Company vs. quaint rooftop tradition.

Look, the rooftop lords have been pirating Cubs product for years. It was local custom way back when, now itís big business. In essence, the building owners have quasi-luxury suites for daily sale, but donít invest in the Cubs product. Itís a scam for the ages.

But still, the screens must go. Now. Before itís too late.

Since the screens arrived the Cubs have won just 8 of 23 games. Theyíre already 6 1/2 games behind the Cincinnati Reds, who havenít had the injured Ken Griffey Jr. for weeks. Theyíre 27th out of 30 teams in batting average (.240). Theyíre 25th in fielding percentage (.976). Theyíre 4-9 at Wrigley, including a recent 3-game home losing streak.

You still donít think the Curse of the Security Screens exists? Fine, then explain why star reliever Kyle Farnsworth inexplicably suffers a stress fracture in his right foot. Or why third baseman Bill Mueller and his surgically repaired left knee arenít expected back until at least May 7. Or why offseason acquisition Moises Alou -- the guy Sammy Sosa said the Cubs had to have -- has already spent time on the disabled list and has as many doubles as starting pitcher Kerry Wood (1).

Juan Cruz has a 2.33 earned-run average ... and is 0-5. First baseman Fred McGriff is hitting .200 and has exactly one home run. Catcher Todd Hundley has 22 at-bats and a .182 average. Against the Dodgers Sunday, Baylor let left-hander Jeff Fassero pitch to right-handed hitter Brian Jordan. Jordan was 3 of 18 against Fassero ... before he hit a 3-run ding-dong that sealed a 5-4 victory for LA. Fassero, who had a wonderful 2001 season, has now given up 11 runs in 11 innings.

You want more? The Cubs began Monday with one more victory than the dreadful Brewers. The Cubsí website poll asked, "Who was the MVP in April?" Can you vote for nobody?

Through Sundayís schedule, no team has scored fewer runs or produced fewer RBI than the Cubs. Their best starting pitcher might be in Double A (Mark Prior). So pervasive is The Curse that even the White Sox have been stricken, losing a three-game series at Oakland in spectacular fashion (they were outscored, 32-5).

Coincidence? You decide: a few weeks ago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf publicly supported the Cubs security screens. Hmmm.

There is only one answer, and it doesnít have anything to do with firing Baylor. Deep-six the screens -- the sooner, the better. The Cubs begin a six-game road trip Tuesday. When they get back, let there be light, not blue.

Or else.

Gene Wojciechowski is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected].
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Old 04-30-2002, 12:23 PM   #2
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Nice story. I hate to see teams have so much trouble winning. Poor Cubbies.
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Old 04-30-2002, 05:04 PM   #3
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I really don't believe in curses, if anything, it's more mental than an actual curse preventing them from winning. But the Cubs need better pitching if they want to go anywhere. It's not like they've had the most talent in the league lately, although being solid and consistent in years past.
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Old 04-30-2002, 05:16 PM   #4
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Well they had Greg Maddux for a while and didn't win-Jon Lieber is a quality pitcher, but he is only one. I really believe in curses-They can come from God or elsewhere. I really don't think God would put a curse on the Cubs unless the owner was maybe a ungodly man or an atheist. That is just my belief. It may no be yours. That is cool. But I believe there is a supreme being that is good and a lesser one that is evil-both have tremendous powers. What they do to man or organizations or even countries I'm not sure. For the God part have you noticed throughout our history most people in the USA profess to be a Christian and so the USA has really been blessed. Taling about us being one of the richest countries and so forth. Now look at the third world countries that believe in idols or worshipping cows-Look and see how much they or their country suffers. Just my opinion. I think we have some smart people on this board-you can imagine what you want, but use your commn sense and really think about it. I know this is off the subject, but have you noticed the trend in the USA since the Supreme Court banned prayer in public schools-look at the trend real good and see how the USA has declined morally and so forth. I mean take a real hard look. Form your own opinion. That is what is so great about my God-he is so powerful but he gives you a free will to do whatever you want-he could have made us robots but he didn't. Again think real hard on this subject.

Sorry for getting off the original subject. I just needed to vent lol
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Old 04-30-2002, 07:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nate
I hate to see teams have so much trouble winning.
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