"It's going to be a big difference between family ownership and corporate ownership. For one thing, as you can tell from talking to us, we all have the same agenda, which may not always be happening inside a corporation. We just want to win. We want to bring a championship back here ." -Tom Ricketts in his first press conference as owner of the Cubs.
Reading this quote made my mind start to wander a bit. What if it’s true? Can family ownership actually take that passion to win, and be accountable to the fans, such that it actually results in what we Cubs fans have dreamed about since we were eight years old? To win the World Series.
I mean, a fan can dream, can’t he? Yes, dream….Zzzzzz…
“Wake up Dad," screamed my son. "It’s time to go to the game," he said excitedly.
Oh yeah, right. The day I’ve always dreamed about—going to a real, honest-to-goodness World Series game at Wrigley Field. I can’t wait.
"You got your Cubs hat and glove son?," I asked. "Sure thing, Dad—let’s go," he told me.
We got in the car and drove to Wrigley Field. On the radio all we heard were talk show hosts and excited fans saying what a thrill it was to see the Cubs beat the Phillies in the NLCS and come home to Chicago after splitting the series with the Yanks in New York. What an unbelievable experience this has been so far.
On the way, we witnessed pandemonium on the streets of Chicago. Everywhere was a sea of Cubbie blue and red. Cars were honking horns and shouting out the window, “Go Cubs!” Everyone honked in return. It seemed the entire city was abuzz with Cubbie enthusiasm.
The chaos is understandable, I thought. After all, it had been 65 years since a World Series came to Wrigley. And none of us were around to take part in that, so, for many of us, this was going to be our first time ever witnessing a World Series game in person.
But I must admit having Mayor Daley sound off the sirens was a surprise. Sure, his old man did it for the ’59 Sox, but the Daley's are anything but Cubs fans, so to have him do it again was really a shock.
And I must admit it was hysterical when they couldn’t get the siren to shut off. I bet there will be lawsuits for hearing loss over that one!
For Tom Ricketts to deliver on his promise so quickly is a testament to the End of the Curse. Although, I must admit, that goat will stink up the stadium a bit.
Seeing Geovany Soto, fresh off of having worked out with Ryan Dempster during the winter, and his added 15 pounds of muscle, has been just terrific. As has his 30 homers and .385 OBP.
But the way Alfonso Soriano has come back from such a miserable season is probably the biggest surprise. His 44 homers, .305 batting average, and 40 steals have been great, but his .370 OBP has been really unbelievable. Getting laser eye surgery in the offseason has done wonders.
“Oh look,” I told my son as we walked into a packed and raucous Wrigley. “There is Carlos Zambrano! And hey, there is his personal shrink that he takes to all the ballgames. Allowing him to bring along his psychiatrist was really a brilliant move by the Cubs. And admitting he had a problem has allowed him to finally win 20 games.”
“He’s a cinch to win the Cy Young," my son replied.
And wow, there is Milton Bradley. I admit it, at first I thought that bringing him back was a mistake. But we couldn’t have won without his 22 homers and .417 OBP. And not one negative peep out of him all year, how about that?
“Hey Milton!" I shouted. “Man, you Cubs fans are the greatest in the world!" Bradley yelled back. “Now I understand what Mr. Cub was talking about.”
Speaking of Mr. Cub, there was ol’ Ernie. “Let’s win two today!" he hollered, seemingly to no one in particular.
Damn, everyone has Cubs fever, I thought to myself.
As I sat in my seat and looked around, I realized that this is what life is all about. I’m here with my son, and we’re sharing a World Series game at Wrigley Field, rooting our favorite team on. This is utopia. This is truly remarkable.
I’m finally at peace as a Cubs fan, I said to no one in particular. And you know what? It feels good.
I woke to the sound of stomping feet. “Dad! Wake up! Did you forget you were taking me to the mall?" It was my oldest daughter. Suddenly, reality came crashing over me like a tsunami. Holy cow, it was all a dream. I had been sleeping. A familiar disappointment rushed through me, seemingly all the way to my soul.
“I’m coming," I stammered back in reply. But instead, I closed my eyes and tried in vain to recapture the magic. Like a drug, I realize I am addicted. I need that feeling once again. I NEED that feeling once again. There's no place like Wrigley...there's no place like Wrigley...
But it never came back. Oh well, maybe we’ll never win after all, I sadly thought. Just then, the phone rang. “Hey Bob, nice to see you the other day. Let’s play two today!” And then there was nothing but a ring tone. Wh-What? Could it be?
Maybe there is hope after all, come to think of it…