Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Come on, Chicago


BASEBALL IN NOVEMBER? And why not? Everything else has happened in this wacky, dysfunctional, cockeyed year, there’s no reason the great National Pastime shouldn’t be included in our basket of imponderables.

And in a year when anything can happen, that’s exactly what happened on the baseball diamond. The Chicago Cubs, in the World Series for the first time since 1945, stand on the brink of winning it all tonight, in a Game 7 for the ages.

Last night, when the Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians 9-3, in Cleveland — knotting the Series at three games apiece — it was every baseball fan’s dream scenario. Reality strangled the invention of the past 70 years.

◊ ◊ ◊

Having your team in the Fall Classic is exciting enough, an anodyne civic event no matter what your city is. But for Chicago in 2016, it’s an especially uplifting note in a year of downbeat events.

In September, after an ugly Labor Day weekend, Chicago passed 500 homicides, a fact that made 2016 the deadliest year on record for the Big Windy. This past weekend, 17 people were fatally shot, bringing the year’s total to 614, as of midnight Sunday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Some cities need the little victories more than others do, and that’s the case right now for Chicago. In the greater scheme of things, it may not matter much. Hard to believe that a Cubs win tonight would seriously, or even slightly, alter the arc of gun violence that seems to have a perverted, malign mind of its own.

But in bad times, you look for a ray of hope anywhere, everywhere, and having the bragging rights to being World Series champions for the first time since 1908 is a good place to start. If only for a moment, a few moments before the next gunshot, the next siren, the next scream in the night.

Come on, Cubbies. Bring it on home. You need it. We need it.

Image credits: Cubs celebrate: USA Today Sports/Reuters.

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