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Catching Hell


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#1 TWC

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 02:40 PM

So you kids hear about this documentary? Guess it airs tonight on ESPN. (Can someone TiVo this for me? I don't have a TV, thanks.)

Anyway, I just read this write-up in the Sun-Times about it. Guess it's supposed to be pretty good, and pretty damning about the way most folks treated Steve Bartman (and other sports scapegoats, like Buckner). Reading the article reminded me about some of that stuff, and it's pretty painful and embarrassing to look back on. I'll admit, I'm really happy that I was out here on the West Coast when it happened, because it's likely that the mob mentality would have rubbed off on me, too. "Yar! Pitchforks!! Bartman!!!" You know what I mean.

Anyway, the article is here: http://bit.ly/nQ7Rd6

One thing that caught my eye:

[L]eft fielder Moises Alou says after missing the foul ball he knew something bad was going to happen — to the extent that he and teammate Aramis Ramirez had booked flights home to the Dominican Republic.

(emphasis mine)

Apparently, after a little bit of further 'research' (I clicked a link), this part of the story was made public in late August, but I didn't hear about it then. I don't recall a BN post/bullet on it either, but it's possible that I missed something (I did a lot of long-weekend camping this summer). More on this 'revelation' can be found in a late August Sun-Times story (http://bit.ly/p26MOe).

I guess I just find it kinda funny that in all of the anti-Aramis scat that has been flung around here during this season that no one's mentioned this. Maybe it's old news -- bygones being bygones and all -- and no one cares about the actions of our former left fielder (and our soon-to-be-former 3B) but it dredges up more than a bit of pain from that October in 2003.

The 2003 Cubs were a really good team. I think they were a better team than the 97-win team of 2008 (we can have that argument later). We could have won the Series that year. Maybe we should have. But we didn't.

And to find out, eight years later, that two of our stars that year, 'had a bad feeling about' their chances in Game 7? A feeling that was so bad that they felt compelled to book their flights home one day earlier than the would have otherwise? It's messed up. It saddens me. I mean, I don't think that either of them came up to the plate during that last game thinking, "meh, fuckit, I gots a plane to catch," but to feel that the team's ultimate failure was likely, to be so resigned that they'd hedge their bets by booking tickets out of town? Damn, man. It hurts. Can you imagine if that news came out during the afternoon of Game 7?

Bah. This turned out much longer than I had intended it to. Damn. It's hard to get over. But, I'm much more likely to blame Aramis Ramirez now than Steve Bartman!

#2 T C

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 02:48 PM

I seem to remember some article about this being common practice for players who still live in their home countries, so I'm not too angry about it.

I'm also super excited to watch this tonight. The 2003 Cubs were insanely good. I think that they were without a doubt the best Cubs team since at least 1989 (but I wasnt alive then. So it might go back even farther than that). Their pitching was outstanding, the whole lineup was on fire... That team was stacked in every way. As weird as it is, I think the toughest part of the documentary tonight will be watching clips of Mark Prior throw. It's simply gut-wrenching to think of what he could have been

#3 TWC

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 02:55 PM

I seem to remember some article about this being common practice for players who still live in their home countries, so I'm not too angry about it.


You know, I completely understand the idea of booking multiple 'season's over, I wanna get the F outta town' tickets. It's just that Alou and Ramirez's explanations are pathetic: "[We] had a bad feeling about it". That sucks.

I'm also super excited to watch this tonight. The 2003 Cubs were insanely good. I think that they were without a doubt the best Cubs team since at least 1989 (but I wasnt alive then.


Thank you, T C (if those are your real initials), for making me feel both very old and very much like I'm having a conversation with myself.

#4 T C

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 03:14 PM

Well, yea, if thats the reason they booked those tickets, thats not okay in any way...

hahaha, sorry...Yes, they are my real initials. If I were to use my chosen Confirmation middle name, they would be TWC also...For awhile in the comments, I was going as TEC cause those are my given intitials, but then I realized that woulda been pretty weird...I really should change my username to something more, uh, well, I dont really know what. MattGarzavs.TheLuckDragon ...? at least that would allow me to use an awesome picture....

but back to baseball. I feel like I know a ton about the Cubs, due to an unhealthy obsession with baseball that was cultivated by my Father and his Father's giant collection of baseball cards that I studied when I was like 5. So even though I didnt get to see the 84, 89, or any of the previous good Cubs teams, I feel like I can safely say that the 2003 team was the best of the last half century or more. I felt at the time that it had 2 sure-fire hall of famers in the rotation, one in right field, one in center, and a bunch of great ballplayers around them. (funny how Kenny Lofton is the only player from that group that has any chance at the hall, isnt it?) *sigh*....

#5 Brett

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 03:16 PM

It's very funny that you post about that comment, TWC. I deliberated very much on what to say about the "story" that Ramirez and Alou had booked flights home before the NLCS was over. I believe I posted a link to the article in a bullets, but without discussing the sensationalized nature of the "OMG THEY BOOKED FLIGHTS HOME BEFORE IT WAS OVER" part for the reason TC said: players do it all the time. To me, it was worse than a non-story. It was misleading.

Now, that said - I don't remember anything in the article(s) connecting the Bartman incident to their decision to book flights home. Had they said that, I definitely would have posted it (because the causal connection would have made it not sensational). So, if that's what they say in the doc, it's a real story.

As for the doc, I'll be watching, but probably won't be saying much until I've put together an "opus" on it. As I mentioned in the bullets earlier, I've been working on a post about the Bartman incident and the film from the day they announced they were making it.

#6 TWC

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 03:31 PM

... So even though I didnt get to see the 84, 89, or any of the previous good Cubs teams...


You know, if my math is mostly accurate, you were watching the '03 team with the same adolescent fervor that I watched the '89 team with. My reaction to your age had nothing to do with how young you are, but with how vivid that '89 series was to me as a 12-year-old. Seems impossible that those memories are now 22 years old.

#7 TWC

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 03:38 PM

I believe I posted a link to the article in a bullets, but without discussing the sensationalized nature of the "OMG THEY BOOKED FLIGHTS HOME BEFORE IT WAS OVER" part for the reason TC said: players do it all the time. To me, it was worse than a non-story. It was misleading.

Now, that said - I don't remember anything in the article(s) connecting the Bartman incident to their decision to book flights home.


I dunno, man. The way I read those two articles -- and unless the Sun-Times framed those quotes in a shitty way (not impossible) -- it's pretty clear that Alou was specifically referring to the Bartman incident.

#8 Brett

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 04:30 PM


I believe I posted a link to the article in a bullets, but without discussing the sensationalized nature of the "OMG THEY BOOKED FLIGHTS HOME BEFORE IT WAS OVER" part for the reason TC said: players do it all the time. To me, it was worse than a non-story. It was misleading.

Now, that said - I don't remember anything in the article(s) connecting the Bartman incident to their decision to book flights home.


I dunno, man. The way I read those two articles -- and unless the Sun-Times framed those quotes in a shitty way (not impossible) -- it's pretty clear that Alou was specifically referring to the Bartman incident.

Eh. I need a little more. I think he was, too, but I don't know that the explicit causal connection is really there. It reads like more of a "guys book flights like that all the time, but since you're asking me six years later and it played out for the worst, yeah, we had a bad feeling."

#9 Dave

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 05:29 PM

I'm recording it, so I'll probably watch it sometime in early February. I tend to get behind on things in the DVR.

#10 TWC

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 05:31 PM

I'm recording it, so I'll probably watch it sometime in early February. I tend to get behind on things in the DVR.

Sweet. Let me know, I'll bring a sixer over.

#11 MichiganGoat

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 06:11 PM

I was living in Champaign, IL (2 hrs south of Wrigley) for the 2003 season, I was able to see almost every game on TV and really caught Dusty fever that year. That game was easily the worst/best collective fan experience I've ever been part of. There was serious mob antics that night tear gas was unleashed and I almost joined a caravan going to Chicago to find and lynch Bartman. I'm not proud of my behavior that night but it's the only reaction to make. So much anger, disbelief, and beer-induced logic results in only one reaction- grab that pitchfork and attack. I still hate Bartman, but I can agree it's not his fault (entirely).

2nd worst/best collective fan experience - the firing of Bobby Knight while I was living in Bloomington, IN... He's and god for us Hoosiers.

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#12 King Jeff

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 07:27 PM

I was at game 3 of the division series,which was Prior vs. Maddux, and game 2 of the LCS, which was another Prior start, and not only Wrigleyville, but the entire city of Chicago was going crazy. It was seriously like a twilight zone, everyone was loud and into the Cubs for once. I can honestly see why someone would want to get out of town fast after that happened. I can only imagine what the reaction would have been from the crowds of the games I went to if something like this had happened. Normally it's kind of calm at Wrigley until they start singing or someone hits a homerun. The entire stadium was on it's feet for the entire length of both games I was at, easily the most electric crowd I've ever been to(and I went to some Blackhawks games at Chicago Stadium). I am to this day, surprised that Bartman made it out of there unscathed. If he wasn't gone by the end of the game, I'm sure he wouldn't have made it. There is a lot of pent up frustration among us Cubs fans, and I don't blame anyone for shying away from the potential ire of a city full of pissed off Cubs fans. That said, I still hate that dude. He is forever linked to that collapse to me, and no documentary is going to change that. If he was a true Cubs fan, he should have been fully aware of what was on the line and what should have been about to happen there. I would probably have been so nervous, I would have been sitting on my hands the whole game.

#13 King Jeff

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 07:29 PM

Wasn't this supposed to air last year? I seem to remember discussing this with everyone here for some reason.

#14 Dave

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 07:44 PM

I was a sophomore in college, I remember watching that game like it was yesterday. Complete despair. Luckily there was a girl in my Spanish class who was also a Cubs fan, so I was able to share my grief.

TWC, as long as it isn't Bud Light, I will gladly trade use of my DVR for beer.

#15 MichiganGoat

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 07:53 PM

Well it's official, Bartman is no longer hated so I guess it's backs to hating on us goats. For the goat population Bartman was a beautifully wrapped gift in headphones that took the blame off all us goats but ESPN had to go and fuck that up by making Bartman look like a human being... Where's our documentary ESPN. Baaaaaa baaaaa baaaa

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