D'Backs 9 - Cubs 2: If I Stop Watching, Will They Start Winning?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

D'Backs 9 - Cubs 2: If I Stop Watching, Will They Start Winning?

. Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Soto got sick of this by the 9th time. So did we.

When I was a child, I was under the assumption that my watching the game inescapably altered the outcome. I think it had something to do with the Lakers beating my beloved Bulls in the first game of the 1991 NBA Finals. I watched the rest of the games through the fingers covering my eyes, and the Bulls proceeded to stomp the hell out of Magic Johnson worse than even the perils of late-night television later would. And so a superstition was born.

Now, as an adult, I've gotten over that little bit of nonsense. At least, I thought I had. Prior to the All-Star break, I attended a couple of Cubs games and our boys won both in exciting fashion. Throughout the break, I hungered for new games to sink my teeth into. Hell, I even started reading Moneyball, so I'd have a bit more knowledge coming back into things. With the pathetic Astros and struggling Diamondbacks on our schedule, I figured we'd be able to take at least 3, possibly 5, of the first games back. I thought I'd once again be basking in the glow of the greatest team in the majors and savoring the healthy division lead we'd built. As to all this, yea, the universe did say "fuck thee."

Last night was just one more step, hopefully the last one, in this sad trudge the Cubs have been on since coming back from the break. None of our 3,4,5 hitters could manage even a single. Jason Marquis looked unspectacular, but Sean Marshall looked bad again. And of course, this being an ass-kicking, we got to see the sad, pathetic pitching of Kevin Hart. When you see Kevin Hart come in, you know it's game over. Hart's ERA is now at 7.91, which can only mean he and Ted Lilly have been golfing together or something. We burned through 5 pitchers, which only served to keep the D-Backs to single digits and let them come back to .500.

Curse of John strikes.

This "can't win on the road" business is starting to look like a self-fulfilling prophecy. There never seems to be a spark away from home - just leadoff hitters becoming double play fodder and solid pitching performances wasted. I think it may be my fault. I tend to root for teams that develop bad habits. The Tennessee Volunteers, no matter how good they are any given fall, can never seem to beat Florida. Scottish soccer team Celtic FC, whose pay channel I subscribe to, can beat Manchester United at home, but can't manage a goal against a lame Portugese side on the road. Da Bears seem to have a conspiracy going to actively keep all top-flight quarterbacks from playing on the team. The Chicago Fire always come into June as a top team, and limp out of it wondering if they'll make the playoffs. I could probably go on forever.

You may not care, but the guy on the ground used to be one of the best midfielders in Scotland. Then, the next year, I subscribed to Celtic's pay channel. Now he's on the bench behind a frickin' red-headed guy. A ginger nut! Again, I apologize.

The point is, I'm starting to think I bring misfortune to my beloved teams. So to the Boys in Blue, I offer this: If I pretend not to care anymore, will you start beating teams on the road? This one-game lead is making me run through antacid faster than a fat guy at Sbarro.

Authentic New York slice

Ah hell, who am I kidding? I could never stop watching. Even with Ted Lilly on the mound today, I'm optimistic. Let's go Cubbies - save me from my neurosis.