Last night, San Diego rookie slugger Kyle Blanks did his best Dave Winfield impression, smashing a clutch three-run walk-off home run to send the Cubs to a 4-1 defeat. Chicago took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth, but the Leon Durham curse struck again.
History has shown that when these two teams get together, strange things happen, but the Padres usually prevail. Occasionally, the Cubs get some revenge at Wrigley Field, but have shown that they just can't forget 1984 while visiting San Diego. The Padres know this, and schedule as many reminders of that great playoff series as they can during every Cubs visit.
I dated a girl from Chicago a few years ago, and she was still pissed about 1984. "The Padres suck," she would wail. "Why, oh why did you guys do that to us?" I could not feel sorry for her. After all, the Padres own so few other teams, and I am not apologizing for finally winning a pennant on their watch.
Chicago fans still consider that fateful day as a black mark on their illustrious team history. What's the problem? After all, the Cubs have blown games to everyone that ever played in the National League. The Padres just did it to them on the biggest stage.
So look for more Friar heroics during the current series. Something about playing the Cubs brings out the best in the Padres.
And the Pads managed to sign No.1 pick Donovan Tate before the game, a miracle unto itself. Seeing Tate in his perfect retro Padres gear had to be a chilling reminder to Cubs fans. 1984 NL Champs!
Stay tuned, maybe we can get Lou Piniella to rip out second base and huck it at an umpire tonight...