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  • It’s been ten years. Today. For me, I don’t flash on Steve Bartman when I think back to Game Six of the 2003 NLCS, because that was an element that developed over the days/weeks/years that followed. Instead, I flash on a routine grounder to short. Moises Alou yelling. Mark Prior pointing. Dusty Baker sitting. And Marlins hitting, hitting, hitting. Ten years later, the Chicago Cubs have yet to win another playoff game.
  • (If you want to relive that inning in precise detail, the Hardball Times has you covered. And if you want to catch up on Bartman, himself, ten years later, Paul Sullivan writes about it. No, Bartman has still not come out of hiding, which is more than understandable. For what it’s worth, I feel like there’s probably been enough distance at this point that the vast majority of Cubs fans would welcome Bartman back into the public fold, and most would apologize for how he was treated. My long thoughts on the whole thing from last year.)
  • Patrick Mooney and Theo Epstein on the Cubs’ 2003 flameout, and the dream possibility – at that time – of a Cubs/Red Sox World Series.
  • The Red Sox were down 5-1 to the Tigers last night before David Ortiz hit a game-tying grand slam in the 8th, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia walked it off in the 9th with a single. The ALCS is now tied at one game apiece, with a trip to Detroit and Justin Verlander on tap for the Sawx. The Cardinals head to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers tonight at 7pm CT in Game Three of the NLCS. The Cardinals lead 2-0.
  • Arizona Phil says that Arodys Vizcaino threw a 45-pitch simulated outing in Mesa this weekend and “looked good.” The hope is that Vizcaino will get into an Instructional League game this week.
  • A nice profile on Albert Almora, who’s been working at the baseball thing since he was three years old. I really need to get The Little Boy a bat and ball.
  • The MLBPA and the Dominican, Puerto Rican, Mexican, and Venezuelan Winter Leagues came to an agreement that will allow MLB players to continue playing in those offseason leagues. There are new limitations on which players can participate (the gist? if you’ve already thrown a ton of innings this year or played in a ton of games or were injured, you might not be able to play – Jeff Passan has the full rundown), but it looks like it will be mostly business as usual. The VWL and MWL started play late last week, the DWL starts later this week, and the PRWL starts on November 1. We’ll have more on those leagues, and the Cubs’ participation therein, soon.

garfieldminusgarfieldplusbartman

  • cubfanincardinalland

    It is ignorant. But the real story and issue is being missed. Why is it still being talked about today? Why is there a story in the NY Times about poor Stevie Bartman.
    The reason is because of the way that Bartman has handled the whole thing. Ten years later, and it is like he is still giving the finger to me as a Cub fan. Oh poor Steve, he is a victim. Has to stay in hiding, like he’s JD Salinger or something. And what it does is continue to put a negative light on Cubs fans, as though we can’t be trusted.
    He should have gone on Saturday Night Live, done the commercials. MANNED up Steve, taken responsibility, and ask for forgiveness. And not with some statement a lawyer released to the newspaper. I screwed up fellow Cub fans, please don’t kill me. He would be a celebrity in Chicago today. If there is one thing Cub fans can do, it is forgive and move on for crying out loud. Bartman never gave us the chance.
    And that is why yesterday at breakfast, I had to sit and listen to a bunch of Cardinal fans laugh and joke about, is Bartman still in witness protection, those Cub fans are crazy. Ten freaking years later. Should have never had to play out like this. That is the real issue.

    • Voice of Reason

      Steve Bartman owes you nothing.

      I think it’s great that you think he is giving you the finger.

      Grow a set and admit that the Cubs lost the game, period.

      Why blame Bartman, some stupid bill goat or some sign in the outfield. The Cubs haven’t won a World Series in over a hundred years because they haven’t been good enough, too.

      Your comments and thoughts are what make Cubs fans look like dopes.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        Not surprisingly, you completely missed the point. It is not even about the game now. Bartman’s inaction has turned it into a referendum on Cub fans, still ten years later.

        • bbmoney

          That’s absurd.

          Guy doesn’t want to be in the spotlight, big freaking deal. Man up and move on yourself instead of calling him a twit and coward on an anonymous message board.

        • V23

          Bartman acted with CLASS. He could’ve cashed in, but he’s a true cub fan and felt awful…even though it wasn’t his fault. Where are the 2 guys next to him that actually went after the ball even more? Wow, you’re backwards.

          • 1060Ivy

            Which is why he lied about purchasing the tickets from scalpers on the street and has correspondences go through his PR attorney.

            Bartman did something dumb. He made his apologies.

            Let him go but don’t idolize his actions or reactions.

    • Jon

      Bartman never gave you the change because he’s downright afraid what dumbass fans like yourself might do to him.

      I don’t think he wants to be thrown in a ditch with a bottle of lotion, tbh.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        This is exactly what I am talking about. Bartman has allowed this to become in indictment against Cub fans.
        You seriously think it would be hard to find Bartman if someone wanted to. I could get his home address and place of employment by tomorrow morning if I wanted. He has chosen to make himself the poor victim.

        • Jon

          I don’t know to be honest. But you sure seem like you investigated the possibilities. To be honest, you sound a bit like a psycho.

          Yes, if I was Steve, I would be downright terrified of some of these loonies.

        • Voice of Reason

          Cubfanincardinalland,

          You say he should have went on Saturday Night Live and made commercials and capitalized on it? REALLY?

          I’d be more pissed if he went out and gained financially from it.

          The guy hasn’t said one word. He hasn’t “chosen to make himself the poor victim”. You’ve chosen this path for him. He hasn’t said one word.

          Let it go. Let the goat, the billboard and everything else go! Those are not reasons why the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in over a hundred years. They just haven’t had good enough teams!

        • baldtaxguy

          I am sure there are things that have happended to him that range from silly to frightening that we do not know about. I think he has handled this the way that was best for him. I think these subsequent stories are, in part, a result of him withdrawing from the incident. I don’t blame him at all, and I can’t say I or most people would do anything different.

      • auggie55

        Exactly! Most Cub fans have forgiven Bartman by now, but it only takes one moron who hasn’t to cause trouble. Of course he’s not the only person in Cubs history who had to go into hiding.

        In 69 when rookie CF Don Young dropped a routine fly in Sept vs the Mets, Santo instead of saying don’t worry about it, chewed him out and made a fool of him to the press. It was all over for the 69 Cubs. Young was done with baseball after 1 yr and went into hiding in Utah. Santo, the captain, handled the situation like we have seen Zambrano handle it, instead of a leader. I still hold a large part of the blame for the 69 Cubs collapse against Santo.

    • Carew

      I think he has played this out in a great way. He is obviously terrified of what could possibly happen. Do you remember how they treated him? They threw pizza, beer, and who knows what else at him.

      Are you the type of fan that did that? I don’t think so.

    • Funn Dave

      C’mon, man. You really think that because he stuck his hand out to catch a baseball, it’s now his responsibility to become a celebrity and go on SNL and completely give up on his own privacy and give himself up to the media and paparazzi? I completely respect Bartman’s choice to remove himself from the limelight after what happened.

  • JM

    Brett, based on some of these comments, I’m not sure I agree with your assessment that Bartman would be welcomed back at Wrigley. In fact, it seems there is still quite a bit of resentment.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Part of that is a kind of participation bias – people who think, “shrug, who cares,” tend not to leave comments. The small minority of folks who are irrationally still worked up about that moment? They want to be heard.

      • JM

        Good insight.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Thanks. It’s what I tell myself when I write something that gets a whole lot of negative comments. :)

  • Stevie B

    What happened that night was truly awful. Cannot blame one person / act.

    I will say, in my opinion, without interference, Alou catches that ball…period.

    • wilbur

      So where was the fan interference call? Why didn’t anyone ever call out the two umps that were on the foul line for the playoff game? If that was the correct call why didn’t anyone, including the manager ever raise the question? If it had been called, maybe then Gonzalez wouldn’t have rushed and muffed the grounder. Bartman should have been the footnote to the story of the game, instead of the other way round like it is now.

  • Beardface

    I’m going to try something I have not seen anyone try ever. Anybody thought about just blaming ourselves for the entire outcome of the game? Does anybody think just maybe the air being sucked out of the stadium after that one play got in all of the players’ heads not just because of Alou, but because we didn’t rally behind Steve, and the rest of the team and say hey we’re still up 3-0! Make some damn noise and let’s win this thing. I hate saying this but I’m seeing Cardinals fans and Boston fans staring at a loss right in the face yet they still get up and wave those snot rags and cheer like crazy. Let’s try being a little more optimistic from here on out. I want to see a truly optimistic Wrigley Field. I go to Iowa football games during losing seasons like last year and we’re on our feet the whole game yelling and screaming. I miss that excitement in baseball. Just my opinion though.

    • Spriggs

      I agree with this. Re-hashing this kind of stuff over and over and over just breeds negativity and bad expectations. It is going to take a very special group of young players to overcome all of this negative bs that surrounds this club everyday and gets perpetuated by fans, foes, and media alike. The pressure will only continue to get worse. Everytime the tiniest negative thing occurs during a big game, the air will continue to get sucked out of the park and everyone will be expecting the worse. We perpetuate this.

      • Napercal

        I was at that game. If Alex Gonzalez doesn’t make the error, no one remembers or cares about Bartman.

        • Spriggs

          Maybe the air being sucked out of the place – and the negativity that descended onto the field had something to do with Gonzalez booting the ball.

          The only positive voice in the park after the Bartman incident was that of little Tommy Brennaman. God, how he was loving it.

          • Napercal

            Gonzalez was paid a lot of money to make that routine play.

            • Spriggs

              But he didn’t make the play. He makes the “routine” one 99% of the time. Something was very different about this one. Did the atmosphere cause him to choke – or did he just choke – or was it merely chance? We don’t know. Beardface brings up a good point and I think it’s a legit question: Would he have booted the ball if the Bartman thing hadn’t happen and negativety hadn’t descended over the field?

          • Dan

            Much easier to blame the situation than to blame the player, isn’t it? Fact its, if Gonzalez *doesn’t* boot that next routine grounder, the Cubs might just have a WS trophy from the modern era. That play was the definition of routine, he definitely made tougher plays during pre-game warmups.

            • Spriggs

              Obviously it was horrible play by Gonzalez. When the air was taken out of the park after the Bartman incident, that atmosphere contributed to the pressure. The fans helped create that atmosphere. The media helped to form the fans expectations – which greatly contributed to the negative atmosphere. Such an intensely negative atmosphere would not have existed in any other ballpark in the world at that moment in time. It MIGHT have had an impact on what happened next – including the booted ball. But yes, the booted ball was horrible play that should have been made.

              • wilbur

                Well, after the booted ball, which was the key play. There was still time for the manager or even the catcher to go out to the mound and get things back togther, but no one stepped up. From then on, the only toughness on display at wrigley, was the phony kind directed at some kid in the stands. Everyone seemed frozen by worry about being made to be the “goat”. That was a team choke.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        I agree. Why this thing with Bartman ticks me off, it should have been put to rest long ago. Great quote I saw from Andrew McCutcheon of the Pirates this season when a reporter asked him about finally winning after 20 years of losing.
        He said don’t put that on me. I was in first grade 20 years ago. Blame me because we played bad last September, but I, nor my teammates had nothing to do with the guys that stunk 10 or 20 years ago. This is the thick skin that the upcoming Cub players must embrace.

        • Spriggs

          I saw those McCutcheon quotes and thought the same thing. The pressure in Chicago is amplied many times though. But nonetheless, it is the attitude that must prevail – it’s going to take that and then some to overcome all the negative forces at work in Chicago.

        • baldtaxguy

          Even if Bartman was “out there” granting interviews, blowing up the ball at Harry Caray’s, doing Binny’s commercials, etc. it would still get rehashed 10 years, 25 years, 30 years later by ESPN, Comcast, etc. if the Cubs are still winless of a World Series. Pin this on the media for the 120 minute documentary, and the lack of a championship since 2003, and not on Bartman choosing to avoid the spotlight. If the Cubs win the Series, Bartman is less of a story, maybe not even one.

    • cubfanincardinalland

      Cubs lost 101 games and drew 2.9 million loyal fans. There would have been 20,000 people at Cardinal games in that situation. Notorious front running fans.

  • Kev

    If I had to wager, I’d bet that Steve Bartman has visited this site and read some of your posts, Brett.

    Kind of a crazy thing to wonder about, no?

    • Funn Dave

      Woah…

  • Rich

    If I had Bartman’s seats..On my fireplace would be the ball and Alou’s glove.

    • Jim L

      Right on, Rich!

  • Beardface

    Brett that is the problem. All of us fans who love the Cubs and just want to see Wrigley rocking again with a great team and great fans seem to be silenced. I’d welcome the guy back with open arms and tell him personally that it was our fault, not his. I’d like to see him experience this rebuilding like the rest of us truly loyal fans because personally I am ecstatic about where the team is headed over the next few years and the true fans are the ones that need to make some noise in support of him.

  • OlderStyle

    Ten years ago I was depressed for a week.
    Now, I’m just trying to stay interested in a team that is rebuilding from less than zero.
    I blamed Dusty at the time and still do. I think Cubs fans in general need to get over themselves and stop their expectations of the worst and the curse.

    • Dan

      You were depressed for a week over a baseball game? That seems a bit extreme. At MOST any negative feelings I have about a sporting event only last 4-6 hours (and even then, none of those feelings could even remotely be called “depression.”) Then I realize that these are grown men getting payed a ridiculous amount of money to play a sport I spent 14 years of my life happily playing for free and I get over it. I think the word “game” is the dead giveaway that maybe, just maybe, it’s not all that important.

  • Steve

    Cub fans should stop blaming Steve Bartman for the team not getting into the 2003 World Series. Blame should be placed squarely on the Cub players who lost the final two games of the playoff series to Florida. Watching tomorrow’s CLTV documentary on the 2003 season is only going to reignite numerous negativity towards Bartman. It’s been ten years of predominately losing baseball at the Friendly Confines. Let’s forget about it and look forward to a winning baseball team and a renovated stadium in the next 5 to -7 years.

  • Jon

    I also feel like Kerry Wood doesn’t get enough blame. After the disaster of game 6, we still had a game 7 and an advantageous matchup against Mark Redman, yet Woody proceeds to shit the bed, giving up 7 runs.

  • bloctoad

    It’s not Bartman’s fault. Or Prior’s fault. It’s not even Alex Gonzalez’ fault. I lay blame squarely at the feet of Dusty Baker. He made poor managerial decisions and was not good for the pitching staff to say the least. Look at all his accomplishments since then in Cincinnati.

  • Rich

    Dusty did not boot a routine grounder

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    You know what really bothers me? I see a lot of people trying to explain how the Cubs lost that series yet no one wants to give credit to a very good Marlins team led by a very good coach in Jack Mckeon.

    Josh Beckett, Mark Redman, Dontrelle Willis, Jeff Conine, Luis Castillo, Derrick Lee, Mike Lowell, Jaun Encarnacion, Todd Hollandsworth, and Jaun Pierre… Oh yea, I forgot about Miguel Cabrera and Pudge Rodriguez!!

    Yes, the Cubs were 5 outs away and probably should of won, but it’s not like they lost to a bunch of scrubs who got lucky. That Marlins team was plenty capable of scoring 3+ runs with 5 outs, and they did. Everyone says the Cubs choked and Bartman/Gonzalez cost us a WS. No one ever says the Marlins were clutch and deserved to win that series. Give credit where credits due and move on.

    • Jon

      No, the Cubs definitely chocked. And they had game 7 setup for them, and Kerry Wood proceded to shit the bed as well.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    Ten years ago my wife and I went to Miami and watched the Cubs play there. She asked me if they were going to win. I told her if Miami comes back and wins they deserve it. Indeed they did.

    Got an interesting bit of trivia yesterday. Who was the last Cub pitcher standing on the mound when they won the world series?

    regards,
    5412

    • DarthHater

      Orval Overall?

      • 5412

        Yep!

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      Orval Overall?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Whoa. Did that really just happen?

      • DarthHater

        Yes, shocking as it may be, I really did post a relevant comment. :-P

      • Edwin

        Inconceivable!

  • Sam

    I was lucky enough to be at that game with my dad. I remember the guy in front of us turning around and high fiving us while he said “5 more outs!” 5 minutes later it was all over.

  • dustin

    Can we still blame the fan that all of us die hard sports fans would not have done!! A fly ball to left its foul! We have our headsets on and there’s a delay!! In the heat of the moment not knowing that the left fielder could have had a play! I like so many of u who read and publish this site would have done the same thing!! Reach 4 a ball that could have been history! There’s so many other factors here tho!! I’m only 28 and remember that play that series like it was yesterday!! As all of us do!! Blame Steve for the error at 2nd? Blame Steve 4 baker and or Larry Rothschild who is now a damn yank :-) leaving mark out there 2 long messing up his arm 4 years 2 cum just because we hadn’t been sence 45?? Was it worth it dusty was it!! U haven’t won nothin sence and im sorry everyone has had a much better team to work with!! O wait your out of a job baker!! I unlike many believe in this curse in any baseball curse!! Look at the red sox and wow what they did to do something that noone had ever done b4 and against the powerful yanks!! I have my days I blame Steve to this day! But I get why he’s n hiding haven’t been seen or heard from after that yr! If u all believe as I and I hope and wish Steve is reading!!! Its just all a curse!! U Steve were n the wrong place at the wrong time!! After ten yrs my god watching hearing seeing that play over and over u were just doing what every fan would do!! Omg a fly ball from the game the cubs make it To the series!! I dont Blame u its that dam curse!! Yes that should have been called inerferance yes after your play dusty should have pulled him!! Yes I’ve been mad at u 4 yrs my god we were what 6 outs away I left early from work that day 2 c that play!!! But now after time has pasted the cubs r not until now I believe a good quality team. Ik Steve isn’t reading this but from the cub nation and bleacher nation in sorry as 1 die hard 2 die hard!! Like I said I believe n this curse no matter what everyone else says!! I mean hell we blew that ball up and we wanted 2 blow a Billy goat sky high!! I understand y he hasn’t surfaced!! But at the same time and not because u r that Billy goat way back when we kicked him out he lifes n u! As a cub nation 2 grow stronger I think we need 2 find Steve and not bash him not say u blew it! But say u r and could b our good luck charm!! Myb he is that Billy goat yrs and yrs and yrs after laughing at us!! And the city just shouted and booed him out!! Seriously were n a long droght change managers bring n young players blah blah blah but when did we when last?? What 04 and 05 and both yrs we got Sept by la?? Bring Steve back!!! After all this time its time 2 4 give and 4get!! Plus who knows myb that 1 play with him ten yrs ago was a curse bring him back make him feel welcome myb he is that goat we keep him happy we win!!!!

    • TOOT

      Yes. Just like you said. I wouldn’t change a word.

  • Tony_S

    I haven’t read all the comments, apologies if this was already mentioned.

    Dusty Baker blew that series in gm 5 in Florida, before 6 had even started.

    Starter (Matt Clement?) was obviously done, Baker left him in because he didn’t give a damn, because he got too cocky, and wanted to win it at home, and was sure there was no way FL wins 6 and 7 at Wrigley.

    Talk about pressure.

    Talking about gm 6 specifically, if Alou trots back to position instead of throwing a temper tantrum like a 2 yr old, nobody knows who Bartman is.

    Now, the problem with wanting to hate Baker (and/or Alou) for all of this? They were also part of the team that GOT there in the first place. So you can’t hate them or remove them from your “in my mind” dream 2003. That’s also why it’s so much easier to blame Bartman, which is BS.

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