Thursday, October 16, 2003In the cold October light of day, the last games of the National League Championship Series look very different, and what seemed like a series-turning interference gaffe was really nothing more than a fan reaching for the ball.
Anybody would have done the same; even the Cubs say so. When emotions are heightened like they were in Game 6, it's easy to blame anything unusual for "breaking" a team's concentration...
I do really feel bad now for "The Fan," now revealed as one Steve Bartman (yes, I know...you remember the "Everybody Do The Bartman" Simpsons song) He's gotten beer and garbage thrown at him, now there's Chicago PD stationed outside his family's house. Florida Guv Jeb Bush offered him asylum in the Marlins' home state, half-jokingly. His face and name have been plastered all over the world in a day, thanks to the magic of the internet. All because he grabbed the ball that inched over the wall, and somehow broke the spell...or at least they think he did.
It may be evil-spirits-bunkum, but baseball is a game that thrives on its ghosts and spirits. Cinderella's coach is a pumpkin again, but it was feverish fun while it lasted.
"Just wait 'til next year..."