Monday, October 24, 2016

Bob Lobel: Why I'm Rooting Against the Cubs

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

The line "why can't we get players like that?” is getting annoying.

Can't believe I just said that. 

It's great now and then (thanks  to Dan Shaughnessy!), but enough is enough! This weekend, even Adam Vinatieri got into the conversation! That one seems to hurt more than most, but we are not here to talk about that. 

I really don’t care about the Cubs breaking their second hand curse. Thanks to Dan “the fan” Shaughnessy. His “Curse of the Bambino” was the real deal. Cubs fans have some stupid farm animal they blame. Personally, I'm all in for Tito, not Theo. One is there with a silver spoon entitlement persona, while the other has the shovel and bucket near his locker. Guess which is which? 

Look, we don’t pick our parents and we don’t pick where they brought us up. Tito or Terry was the son of the real Tito that played for the Cleveland Indians when the world was flat, and even before Oil Can thought Cleveland was on the shore of an ocean. My parents were both nurses, and they moved to Ohio when I was in the 6th grade.  My father was a Giants fan and took me to see my first game in the Polo Grounds. 

I stayed in Ohio through high school (see pic) and went to Kent State just like Julian Edleman and Travis Shaw. It was close to home and very inexpensive. I saw Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle hit homeruns in Cleveland in 1961, the year I graduated from high school. 

I saw Tito Francona play, which I later shared with his son. I first interviewed his son when he got the Red Sox job. That interview followed the embarrassing so-called interview by a Sportscaster anchor I will identify as “Ed.” He tried to trip the new manager up with stupid questions about pronouncing town names around the area, with is not a difficult task, knowing Sciuate, Worcester and Ipswich, etc. 

That evening Tito (the son) was on TV at a bar called The Place, which I had the privilege  to host for The Globe. Charles Steinberg, ever the PR guy, brought him over and with guest Chris Berman of ESPN, and we put on a damn good show. 

It was the beginning of a lot of things. A lot of good things, like World Series wins and other stuff. I was never an Indians fan growing up in Ohio, but went to a fair amount of games. When they were in their last World Series, I could care less.

But this year is different. I want Cleveland to win. 

I don’t want the Cubs to break their bogus curse. It’s a bigger deal for Cleveland anyway in the big picture. Surely that is understandable. There is nothing to pick on with the former Red Sox all over the place on both sides. That’s going to come up over and over again. 

The Cubs are heavy favorites. They have the heavy payroll, plus the marquee GM and manager. 

Still, go Tribe! Go Tito! Everyone thought the best story in baseball was going to be the first championship for the Cubs in over a century. Let's amend that. It would be the second best story, right behind the Cleveland Indians led by Terry (Tito) Francona winning the World Series over Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein. 

Now that would be an amazing amazing end to this season and, the story for a lifetime.  Who wouldn’t root for that?         

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