Columnists, Sports

Indirect Kick: It’s the Cubs’ time to shine

The Chicago Cubs are one game away from clinching a berth in the NLCS. PHOTO COURTESY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

1908 … what a year it was!

The ball dropped for the first time at Times Square, legendary cricketer Jack Hobbs made his Test debut, a long distance radio message was sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time, the first U.S. postage stamp rolls were issued, Mount Erebus in Antarctica was climbed for the first time, the first passenger airplane took flight and the first Ford Model T rolled off the assembly line. There were certainly a lot of firsts in 1908.

But 1908 means something much different to Chicagoans. On Oct. 14, 1908, in front of a measly crowd of 6,210 fans, the Chicago Cubs beat the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series.

And they haven’t won since.

107 years later, the Cubs have yet to add another World Series to the trophy case. That could all change this year.

The Cubs earned the second wild card spot in the 2015 Playoffs, and have advanced to the National League Division Series for the first time since 2003. And Red Sox fans thought the Curse of the Bambino was bad.

This year, however, things are coming along differently for the Cubs. The team is one of the best in baseball, and, after winning the Wild Card game over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 27, had won nine straight games.

Other factors involved in the Cubs winning the World Series include, but are not limited to, “Back to the Future Part II,” released in 1989, which predicted the Cubs to win the Fall Classic in 2015 and the Wild Card game beginning at 19:08 military time on 10/7 (1908 was 107 years ago). 2015 is also the year of the goat in the Chinese zodiac, a reference to the curse of Billy “The Goat” Sianis. The list goes on. I’m not saying I’m superstitious, but sometimes the stars just align.

So is it realistic that the Cubs can win?

Absolutely. The biggest obstacle standing in their way is the matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. St. Louis finished the year at 100-62, including an 11-8 record against the Cubs.

In 1945, the Cubs beat out St. Louis for the National League pennant. It won’t be St. Louis in the National League Championship Series, but the Cubs will still beat the Cardinals in the race for the pennant.

The last time the Cubs made the NLCS was 2003, and no team from that postseason made the playoffs this year.

What do all these stats say? Despite the losing record versus St. Louis, the timing is right for the Cubs to win the Fall Classic. And honestly, they need it.

Think of what would happen if the Cubs win the World Series. North Chicago would rejoice, the W flag would be forever raised and Steve Bartman, the Billy Goat Curse incarnate, would be exonerated.

Don’t even get me started with Bartman. He is the most innocent man at the center of this century-old saga. You can’t honestly say that if you were in his seat and saw a souvenir baseball coming at you, that you wouldn’t make an effort to catch it. Everyone would have that reaction. Funny thing about it was that Bartman never caught the ball, and Moises Alou, the Cubs left fielder, never made contact with Bartman in the field of play. So why is he the target? I digress.

You know what else is funny? Theo Epstein, the Cubs’ president of baseball pperations, made several key acquisitions to help the Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years. Epstein has brought some incredible talent to Chicago, including Anthony Rizzo, Jake Arrieta, manager Joe Maddon and likely National League Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant. Those four moves, all minor at the time, have been huge for the organization.

With all these factors at play, the final question is: Will the Cubs finally win?

Only time will tell, but I believe it’s inevitable. It has to end sometime, and whether it’s this year or not, the Cubbies aren’t too far away. But you know, looking at all the stats and coincidental facts, it’s hard to root against Chicago. Everyone, from the press to the casual fan, is hoping for a Cubs victory, and that includes myself.

Sometimes, you get a chance to witness history, and it’s about damn time for the Cubs to step out of the shadows and onto the world stage. 107 years of toil and torment is about to be over.

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Daniel Shulman is a sophomore at Boston University majoring in Journalism through the College of Communication. A native of Stoughton, Dan is a sports fanatic who loves everything Boston sports related. He is currently a Sports Hawk at the Boston Globe in the High School sports department. He is also a statistician for both Men’s and Women’s Soccer and Men’s Ice Hockey. Aside from writing, Dan has an interest in music, movies and cooking.

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