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Sunday, October 23, 2016

TINKER TO EVERS TO CHANCE

In this digital age where everything is timed and measured and recorded,  one sport is not.

Baseball is not the quintessential American sport. Americans have been obsessed with time. Making the trains run on time. Opening and closing Wall Street stock trading on time. Punching a clock. The Atomic clock. We are a society of time.

Baseball is the only team sport not measured in time. And since cosmologically speaking Time does not exist (only SpaceTime does) Baseball is the only cosmologically pure sport.

But baseball has its own limitations, and for seventy years Chicago Cubs fans have continually bemoaned the passage of "time without a world series appearance" or TWAWSA.

But no more. The Chicago Cubs, beloved losers of millions of fans who ended every fall with the cry of "Wait until next year" have to wait no more.
The Cubs are in the World Series.
Say it again. The Cubs are in the world series.

A baby in the North Side of Chicago, born after world war two, is now a retired old man or woman. They have gone a lifetime without a team to root for in the fall classic. Eyes now rheumy with a lifetime of disappointment.

It wasn't always this way. At the turn of the past century, the Cubs were a powerhouse. And in one famous published poem, a Giants fan lamented the inning killing double play of the Cubs great infielders Tinker, Evers, and Chance:


These are the saddest of possible words:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double –
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."

The Cubs have been close before. Famously in 2003 the Cubs were five outs away (and up 3-0) from a World Series when a fan interfered with a fly ball that would have been the second out in the inning.

After the fan incident, the Marlins scored a run, and with a runner on first Miguel Cabrera hit a ground-ball to Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez. An inning ending and pennant saving double play was at hand. But Gonzalez booted the ball and the Marlins went on to score eight runs and the Cubs went home to wait out another cold, winter, the spring and summer and fall lost in one nightmarish half of one inning.

Fast forward to Saturday night. Einstein famously said the lord does not play dice with the Universe. But the almighty does have a sense of humor and history. You just need to pay attention to see it.

Cubs up 5-0. Top of the eighth. The Cubs once again that magic five outs away from a world series appearance. The Dodgers have a runner on first. Could this be the beginning of another nightmare?
Cub closer Chapman on the mound. Pinch hitter Howie Kendrick at the plate. On an 0-2 fastball, Kendrick hits a sharp grounder to second... Time slowed for those Cub fans who have endured so much.

Oh but for one more appearance of Tinker, Evers and Chance, now ghosts of an era long lost. Absent their return, anyone but Alex Gonzalez who booted the Cubs out of their last chance at a world series.

Old men prayed. Little boys grabbed their mitts; little girls flipped the ball their parents gave them.

And they all watched...

Javier Baez, the steady second baseman snared the grounder; he flipped it to shortstop Addison Russell who nipped the bag at second with his foot and made a steady throw to Rizzo at first for the double play.

Inning over. Five-outs-away-jinx done. Tinker to Evers to Chance lives!

As do the Cubs in the world series in 2016.

Baseball is timeless and cosmologically pure. It isn't our game. It's harmonic with the Universe when it's played the way the Cubs turned the double-play Saturday night in the cold October night at Wrigley.


It's a sin to pollute these pages with any reference to another league where their players brutalize their children and wives and the owners look the other way. So other than posting our survivor pool we won't.

See you in court.

Week Seven by Rumpole21 on Scribd

13 comments:

earl rogers said...

My grandmother used to tell me stories about watching the Cubs in Wrigley Field during the 1920s and early 1930s when she was a young bride and mother but she never saw them win a World Series (she was a three year-old in Pawnee City, Nebraska in 1908). Even though I grew up in (downstate) Illinois, I never made the full commitment to being a true Cubs fan after I witnessed their 1969 collapse. For so many years, they have been a very painful team to watch, let alone live or die with. I have to admire people like Milton Hirsch who have stuck with the team and wish them the best in the World Series. As you allude to in the post, the team seems not to have some of the chokers who have let them down in the past, but, given their sad history, I can't help but dread some bizarre finish to the World Series leaving them the losers once again.

Anonymous said...

Whose the jamoke in the suicide pool who runs around telling everyone he was a judge and know one has ever heard of him?

Fake Chris Pracitto said...

DOLPHINS STINK BILLS RULE

Anonymous said...

Bills TD

Buffalo has the Bills
the greatest football team
Tyrod Taylor throws the ball
like no one's ever seen...

Bills 17- Miami 6
hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Fake Jay White said...


DOLPHINS SCORE
MIAMI HAS THE DOLPHINS THE GREATEST blah blah blah

Bills suck chicken wings.

Fake Chris Pracitto said...

Dolfins cheat worse than the Patriots. What I gyp! I want my money back

THE REN GEN II said...

Rumpo please remind all fans at the game to come to the WEST side of the stadium parking lot for REN GEN II "GASTRO-TENT" with its now famous Calle Ocho micro brew lager, our amazing stone crab bisque, kobe beef sliders, our gluten free squash "pasta", local farmed coconut patties, and amazing hot peach cobbler muffins with home made vanilla bean ice cream toppings. We will be serving way past the sun going down. Reposado Tequilla shots and margaritas with local sourced key lime/cane sugar and so much more. Come, toast ANOTHER MIAMI DOLPHINS FIRST DOWN AND WIN AND enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Haha Sir Kenny -- I won in the football pool again. Every year we compete, but this year you will lose to me.

Robert Kuntz said...

This is the Series that everyone who loves baseball has craved. Even if you didn't think you wanted this, even if you are a damned and benighted Yankees fan, you know in your bowels that this is right and good and as it should be. Here and now, as the country fractures and rends itself to choose between one venal scoundrel or the other, this Series offers us a moment of purity and meaning that can bring us all together.

As a baseball fan Cleveland-born, who has lived long, but not long enough to see my team win the series, who has only seen them contend twice, I still called for just this Series as early as July. The fact that every July for more than 50 years I have called for the Tribe to be in the Series by no measure diminished the earnest sincerity of my prediction. The difference this year was that I called for (longed for, prayed for) the Cubs to join them there. And I believed it would happen. Believed it in the way only a Cleveland sports fan can believe in anything -- with aching, wanton certainty.

So tomorrow it begins. My particular friend is as ardently devoted to the Cubs as I am to the Indians, and has even been at it a few years longer. I'm happy for him, and he for me, that this should come to pass. Indeed, in some ways, this moment right now, is almost -- almost -- as sweet as it can get, before any strikes are called and we can both believe, achingly and with renewed certainty.

This Series is good for Cleveland. Good for Chicago. Good for baseball. Good for America.

Yet again, when she needs it most, baseball comes to save the nation.

CLE in six games.

Real Fake Former Judge said...

I am GUARANTEEING colby busts out next week. He's not that good to keep this up. Chump.

Anonymous said...

Rump Ren GenII had a shrimp/lobster/hogfish cerviche yesterday that went great with the Calle Ocho beer. It was a real treat eating there. Hearing that instead of bricks and mortar they may go food truck or just stick with the weekend pop-ups. Either way RenGenII rocks.

Milt Hirsch said...

Baseball. Its perfection is everywhere to be found – in the geometrical symmetry of the diamond, in the spherical symmetry of a baseball hoisting a horsehide sail of white against an illimitable blue sea of sky, in the parabolic symmetry of the ball’s voyage. There is perfection in its eternity, for unlike other games baseball is not played against a clock. No matter how lost the cause, no matter how lopsided the score, if we can just keep the rally going the game will never end, hope will never fade, the season will go on and on, the grass will be forever green, the sky will be forever blue, and we will never grow old and die.

Anonymous said...

If the Cubs win, how long before Milt manages to get that fact into one of his opinions? "Much like the Cubs of Chicago, the defendant was given little chance by the officers ..."