Thursday, June 12, 2008


The thing that most of my friends know about me - indeed, what the friends of many of a Cubs fan know - is that as devotees of the Chicago National League Ball Club, we are pretty much always miserable. In those years when the team is out of the playoff running by the All-Star Break, we aren't happy at yet another futility-filled campaign. And in seasons such as this one when the Cubs are playing like gangbusters - well, in some ways we're in worse shape as we wait for God to suddenly notice the team and decide to set the universe back in order by allowing the bottom to fall out under Wrigley Field. So even though Chicago had the best record in baseball going into last night's action, we fans couldn't just sit back and enjoy it. Instead, we were on pins and needles, knowing that this sweet bliss couldn't last, that something that would send us back into the land of angst would eventually occur.

Last night, that "something" happened.

In the second inning of Wednesday's win against the Brave, the Cubs' leaoff hitter, Alfonso Soriano, was hit in the left hand by a errant pitch. As a result, Soriano, who leads the team in home runs and has 40 runs batted in, is on the shelf for up to six weeks.

Now, I am a Cubs fan, but I'm also a fan of baseball and a logical person. In a season that last six months and 162 games, bad crap is going to happen to every team. It's virtually impossible for a team of 25 players to get through that much time without at least one significant injury, no matter how good or bad it is. Indeed, this is Soriano's second time on the disabled list this season. He missed two weeks in April with a calf strain. During that period, the Cubs went 9-5 and average more than seven runs a game. Besides, this is why God and Branch Rickey created the modern-day farm system, and so far Chicago has had pretty good luck when it comes to reserve players. So all definitely is not lost.

So I will keep saying "tsunami" and "Emily" in my logical consciousness - but in the back of my head, I also will continue to bite my nails and wear my (current) lucky hat during the Cubs games that I of course don't watch because I'm a jinx. I figure that I can relax in October - one way or another.

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