9:00 AM CDT, October 16, 2013
I hadn’t planned on watching "5 Outs," the gagumentary on the 2003 Cubs that aired on Comcast SportsNet on Tuesday night.
Luscious, the woman I love, said she didn’t believe she could watch it because of the pain it would recall, and there were a lot of other viewing options.
The Blackhawks, for instance, were playing in Carolina. (Your Stanley Cup hangover, it turns out, comes in the third period, not the start of the season. The Hawks have allowed six goals in the last three third periods. Stop it.)
The Cardinals and Dodgers were playing Game 4 of the NLCS. A game that matters now seemed more interesting than one from 10 years ago -- especially THAT one 10 years ago.
Oh, and there was an episode of “Antiques Roadshow’’ from Grand Rapids that we hadn’t seen.
There was some kind of international kickball tournament going on that had prompted every American I follow on Twitter to demand that Mexico thank us. I had no interest in searching out why, so, after the Cardinals moved within a game of yet another World Series that the Cubs can only watch, I flipped to Comcast SportsNet to catch "Sports Central."
But no. "5 Outs" was still on, and wouldn’t you know it, I caught the show just as Moises Alou didn’t catch that foul ball. This is like flipping on "Miracle" when Herb Brooks gives that speech. Or "Slap Shot" when Denny Lemieux explains icing.
And I came away believing that Alou and Aramis Ramirez ought to be booed forever by Cubs fans.
Sammy Sosa still sounds like a phony in the piece, but Alou and Ramirez came off as all-time losers. They admitted that on the day of Game 7 of the NLCS against the Marlins they made plane reservations to go home to the Dominican Republic the next morning. The first flight out the next morning.
Kerry Wood didn’t know what to say. In the documentary’s well-executed and impactful presentation, Wood fumbled for words, wanting to call Alou a person of "low" character, but he caught himself and talked around it.
No, Kerry, that was "low" character. If it’s not the very definition of low character, it’s certainly one of the top dictionary entries.
Losers. Alou and Ramirez turned out to be perhaps the biggest losers on a roster of choke artists. That’s some accomplishment when you’re talking about the history of the Cubs. Or even when you’re talking about the 2003 Cubs who would choke a three-games-to-one lead, a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning of Game 6 at home, and finally, a Game 7 at home with Wood going
At least when Sosa walked out on his teammates in 2004, it was after Dusty Baker’s Cubs had choked away the wild card. (Yes, there was a lot of choking with Baker’s Cubs. There is a lot of choking with all of Baker’s teams.) Sure, Sosa was perhaps the worst Cubs teammate besides Milton Bradley, but Alou and Ramirez were secretly spineless. That’s worse.
Alou’s loss of poise in the eighth inning of Game 6 was one thing. Every Cubs’ subsequent blaming of a fan for doing what fans do was another step in creating one of the most detested North Side bunches ever, a label that would be seared into fact by the end of 2004.
How do you admit you planned an exit strategy like that? How do you admit you were pretty much quitting on your team when you were one game from the World Series. I guess you admit it because you just don’t care what people think of you. Losers can be like that.
But wait. There’s more idiocy.
Team Boy Wonder Andy MacPhail also comes off as a joke in a story Baker tells about a goat that was allowed on the field just before Game 7.
Baker said he saw someone walking a goat out of the door in right-field and promptly grabbed a phone to yell at MacPhail to stop it. MacPhail’s response, Baker claimed, was that he wanted to let it happen because if the Cubs lost Game 7, there would be more blather about not doing what they could to break the “curse.’’
No lie. That’s the kind of high-level stupid that Baker claimed MacPhail used to justify a clear clown move. So, yes, those Tribune wonks and their minions could be the massive morons you always believed.
One of those morons, by the way, Crane Kenney, is still with the team despite bringing in the priest to sprinkle holy water before a playoff series to, wait for it, break the curse.
Again, I didn’t see all of “5 Outs,’’ nor did I watch the coda after the Marlins won Game 7, but from what I saw and heard, I was kind of glad the Cubs lost in the most unimaginably painful manner possible.
Morons. Losers. Clowns. The 2003 Cubs, it turns out, fit all those labels more completely than I ever knew.
"5 Outs" -- the feel-anger movie of the fall.
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