10/07/2005: Rut roh
--Scoobert S. "Scooby" Doo
This bit of depressing news from Billy-Ball:
As for the curse of the ex-Cubs in this postseason, the White Sox are Cub-free, while the Angels have one ex-Cub, Josh Paul. The Astros have one ex-Cub, Jose Vizcaino. The Braves have two, Kyle Farnsworth and Todd Hollandsworth. The Padres have three ex-Cubs: Manny Alexander, Damian Jackson and Eric Young. The Cardinals have three: Ray King, Julian Tavarez and Mark Grudzielanek. And the Yankees have five: Tony Womack, Matt Lawton, Tanyon Sturtze, Mark Bellhorn and Tom Gordon.In case you're not an obsessive baseball nerd, here's the straight dope on "the ex-Cub factor":
The Ex-Cub Factor was originally coined by writer and Cub fan Ron Berler, who wrote an article in 1981 stating that since the Yankees of that season had five ex-Cubs on their roster, they were doomed to lose the World Series if they got there. Chicago newspaper legend Mike Royko picked up on the factor early on, and was a tireless champion of it, especially after Berler's 1981 prediction turned out to be right, as the Yanks lost to the Dodgers in six games.If you're a really obsessive baseball nerd, you can look up the ex-Cub factor throughout history.
Up until 2001, the curse of the ex-Cub had been almost complete. Since the Cubs last won the NL pennant in 1945, only once had a team with three or more ex-Cubs won the World Series. That was the 1960 Pirates, and Berler even managed to explain that anomaly away in his article.
In 2001, though, the Arizona Diamondbacks won the championship with a healthy contingent of ex-Cubs: Mark Grace, Luis Gonzalez, Mike Morgan, and Miguel Batista. It would appear that the curse has been broken, and Mark Grace even said as much during a post-game interview. In response, all I can say is it's pretty interesting that the World Series to which that one had most been compared is the 1960 Series, won by the Pirates. In both cases, the National League team beat the New York Yankees in the bottom of the 9th inning of the 7th game of the Series. Plus, almost as soon as Grace said that, the Diamondbacks became bad. Really bad. Coincidience? Or SOMETHING MORE???
If history is any indication, you should be betting on the White Sox. Heavily. And the Chicago Police should probably cancel all vacations during World Series week.
Philosophical question of the day: How will one determine the ex-Cub factor of the Cubs when they eventually make the World Series (as they have to sometime, by the law of averages)?
Len on 10.07.05 @ 09:42 AM CST