Well, they finally did it!
As every reader must know by now, The Chicago Cubs ended 108 years of frustration by winning the World Series on Wednesday night. They defeated the Cleveland Indians in a 10-inning struggle that has been called epic but could also be described as a bit goofy. The game and the Series have been widely covered, so I will add only a few personal comments.
As I reported in a Special Bulletin on October 23, I had been at Game 4 of the 1945 World Series which the Cubs had lost to the Detroit Tigers, 4-1. Now my daughter and I had tickets to Game 4 of the 2016 Series on Saturday. Would history repeat itself? Sadly, it did, as the Cubs fell to the Indians, 7-2. Nevertheless, it was a grand evening in a lively but well-behaved crowd that remained enthusiastic to the end, cheering every strikeout of a Cleveland batter long after the outcome was no longer in doubt. We missed only the excitement of a victory and joining in the song, “Go Cubs Go” that the Wrigley crowd renders after every win.
But now the Cubs were down 3-1. Was there still hope? The following night we watched the Cubs on television with cousins in a Chicago suburb and we were all delighted to see them stay alive by beating the Indians 3-2. Then, on Monday, we made the long trip back to California where on Tuesday night we watched the Cubs win again, setting the stage for the deciding 7th game. That game was perhaps as exciting as any in World Series history, with the Cubs losing leads of 5-1 and 6-3 before ultimately prevailing, after a rain delay, 8-7.
I am among the army of armchair managers who believe that the Cubs Manager, Joe Maddon, made that game unnecessarily exciting by his misuse of Cubs pitchers, specifically in removing the Cubs starting pitcher, Kyle Hendricks, too early and in overusing his star reliever, Aroldis Chapman. Chapman is ferociously fast, but not inexhaustible as he demonstrated by giving up a three-run home run that tied the 7th game at 6-6 in the eighth inning. (For more details, see David Haugh in the Chicago Tribune and Matt Dolloff, CBSBostonSports. Nevertheless, Maddon must be given full credit in creating a resilient team with the will and the spirit to overcome adversity.
In the previous Special Bulletin, I referred to an earlier Cubs victory as a “merciful relief from the depressing spectacle of election 2016.” And so, indeed, was the entire World Series, but now the Series is over and the election looms. I have little more to say about that than we have said before. I continue to believe that Donald Trump is the most dangerously unfit candidate for the presidency in my lifetime and perhaps all of American history. Hillary Clinton is a seriously flawed candidate, in terms of both her personal history and her policy prescriptions, but I believe that she would make an infinitely better president than Donald Trump. And we would urge even readers who may dislike both candidates equally not to “stay home,” but go to the polls to vote for candidates in the down ballot races, particularly Republican moderates who are uniquely vulnerable to the political chaos Trump has created. We need them now more than ever.
– Doug Parker