The Marks Post: Mixed emotions
The new look MLB playoffs began last week with its best-of-three Wild Card Series. The Cubs, winners of the NL Central, were matched up against a rather familiar playoff opponent in the Miami Marlins.
It was, of course, a rematch of the infamous 2003 NLCS. Main thing I can say about that series is some wounds never heal. At the time, I was in the fall semester of my senior year at LSU and watching the series in my apartment at Tiger Plaza.
Anybody who has not been living under a rock for the past 17 years should know Game 6 of the series as the Steve Bartman game, but for those who don’t know the story Bartman was a fan sitting in the left field stands and reached over into the field of play to catch what he thought was a foul ball. He is probably still being hung in effigy covered in tar and feathers in some places.
That incident kept the inning alive for the Marlins who were then able to eventually take the lead and get the win.
As for me, I don’t think Cubs’ left fielder, Moises Alou, could have even made the play on that foul ball. Also, the game should not have come to that play. The inning should have been over if the Cubs’ shortstop, Alex Gonzales, would not have made an error to prolong the inning.
Regardless of which position you take, the Marlins win forced a deciding Game 7. Cubs had the pitching matchup they wanted, but the Marlins still had the momentum and went on to win the series at Wrigley. After the Cubs lost, I hung my head and cried. If memory serves, that was the same night Aaron “Bleepin” Boone got the home run to give the Yankees the win over the Red Sox in the ALCS. That was not a good night for baseball.
While that series brought sadness, this Cubs series against the Marlins brought apathy. The Marlins won both games in the series, and I could care less. I guess because I lost interest about halfway through the season. The Cubs were rolling, but their offense phoned it in and went into hibernation. About that same time is when baseball teams started walking off the field.
Because of that, I had not watched or listened to a game until Game 2 of the series last Friday.
I started listening to the game on my phone, and the Cubs still could not hit, even though they were facing a Marlin flamethrower. My neighbor, Paul Franks, came visit, so I cut the game off. After he left, I didn’t put the game back on. I’m glad I didn’t because the Marlins went on to hit a pair of home runs to win 2-0 and get the sweep.
Later that day, I went to Oakdale for the Warrior game against cross-parish rival Oberlin, and superstition set in.
Let me preface this next section by saying I know I’m supposed to be objective as a reporter especially when Oakdale plays Oberlin.
My plan was to shoot pictures from the Oberlin sideline for the first half and go over to the Oakdale sideline for the second half.
The first half went on and was dominated by Oakdale. Something in the back of my mind told me to stay where I was. I started walking across the field and crossed one of the Allen Parish trainers from Lake Charles, Kane Daigle. I told him if Oakdale started struggling in the second half I would go back to the Oberlin sideline because I’m superstitious.
Well, momentum started to switch sidelines early in the third quarter. Oberlin made a big play into Oakdale territory, so back onto the Oberlin sideline I went. Oberlin ended up pulling ahead later on, but Oakdale came back to get the win. I was pumped on the inside.
However, my enthusiasm was tempered. Earlier in the night, I was talking to the real Oakdale stat guy, James McKay, and one of the new teachers at Oakdale. McKay brought up the Westlake game last year that was rained out and how I blew it with the girl from the Lake Charles TV station. In my defense, though, she was young and did not get my Austin, Massachusetts, reference from the movie Road Trip. I guess you could say I just phoned it in like the Cubs’ offense in this “exhibition” season.