The year that still haunts me

2003 should have positive associations for me. It was the year that my younger daughter was born, and if there’s one thing in life I enjoy more than anything else, it’s being a dad. She’s going to become a teenager this summer, and looking at her now is a daily reminder that 2003–in human terms–wasContinue reading “The year that still haunts me”

Goodbye Goose

I still remember so many things that happened twelve years ago tonight. I’ve relived some of them here so many times. But try as I might, I haven’t just let them go. I’ve been like Maverick in the movie Top Gun, wishing things had turned out differently than they did. And the only way toContinue reading “Goodbye Goose”

An unexpected payoff

Being a Cubs fan is never an easy thing. After spending almost forty years in that fold, I can make such a statement with complete confidence. The good years–as measured by when the team makes it to the playoffs– can be counted on one hand, or two hands at the very most. And every oneContinue reading “An unexpected payoff”

Thoughts on Papi and Alou

Today was quite a day. Not only did I spend the day on a field trip with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop (more on that later, some day), but I had a variety of pieces running in different places. The I-still-can’t-quite-believe-it-happened comeback by the Red Sox in the ALDS–keyed by a grand slam by DavidContinue reading “Thoughts on Papi and Alou”

Looking beneath the fold

Last weekend, I found myself in the position of having to explain the Cubs and their 2003 collapse in the playoffs to a young fan who didn’t know anything about it. I’ve written about this before, from many different angles, but writing is so much more preferable to me than speaking. It’s always been thatContinue reading “Looking beneath the fold”

Blame Jeff Pico

I love Tumblr, even if I don’t use it very much. I cross-post a few of my posts here on my page, which shares the BlueBattingHelmet name. My Twitter page, incidentally, does not use this name because “BlueBattingHelmet” has more characters than a Twitter handle allows. I would have to call it @4BlueBatting or somethingContinue reading “Blame Jeff Pico”

Don’t overlook that first game

Reliving ballgames from the past is a bit like watching Titantic and hoping the boat won’t sink. The boat’s always going to hit the iceberg, and panic is always going to ensue, and that band will always keep playing with the chaos around them. Watch it again and again if you like, but those thingsContinue reading “Don’t overlook that first game”

The Buckner Surprise

At the end of tonight’s ESPN documentary Catching Hell, I found myself saying one simple word: No. To expand upon that, I offer the following instant analysis: No, I don’t see the connection between the Red Sox collapse in 1986 and the Cubs of 2003. For one thing, the Red Sox were at least inContinue reading “The Buckner Surprise”

Why does Gonzo get a pass?

If I’m Alex Gonzalez, the one shown on the card above, I would consider myself an extremely lucky man. Without the widely known–and tragically unfortunate–interference event that happened during the top half of the eighth inning of Game six of the 2003 NLCS, Gonzalez would be as renown as Bill Buckner for the error heContinue reading “Why does Gonzo get a pass?”

2003 will not leave me alone

There was an Alex Gonzalez playing shortstop at Wrigley Field tonight. No, not the Alex Gonzalez who was the Cubs shortstop in 2003. He was the one who booted a double play ball, and opened up the floodgates that washed away the World Series dreams of me and millions of Cubs fans. If he hadContinue reading “2003 will not leave me alone”