2003 CUBS


The season started with all the Cubs' fans gloating over new toothpick and wristband-sporting manager, Dusty Baker, coming to the Northside. Now they had God (Dusty) in addition to Jesus Christ (Mark Prior). "We're going all the way this year," they all said. Oh wait, they do that every year.

And then when the Cubs somehow actually make it to the playoffs, they say "What a magical season! Nobody expected this!"

In the offseason the Cubs also acquired washed up Dodgers like Eric Karros and Mark Grudzielanek; D'Backs catcher Damian Miller, and a few other pieces of crap.

The Cubs got off to an OK start, but the best part was Sammy Sosa was caught cheating with a corked bat in June. (see Sammy Slammin')

The NL central race was definately a race, but it was in one hell of a weak division. Every day it was either the Cardinals, Cubs, or Astros in first. The Cubs never led by more than 3 games.

The Cubs were still in it by the all star break, despite being 47-47. The trading deadline was approaching, so the Cubs made some moves. They basically took half of the Pirates and didn't really give up much, acquiring Aramis Ramirez, Kenny Lofton, and Randall Simon. They also acquired Tony Womack and Doug Glanville.

Without these moves, the Cubs probably wouldn't have won their pathetic division; and half these moves wouldn't have happened if Hee Seop Choi and Corey Patterson didn't get injured.

The race basically was the Cubs and Astros in the final weeks, as the Cardinals faded down the stretch. The Cubs ended up winning the division by 1 game, with just 88 victories. Truly a pathetic division. The Cubs won it thanks to the soft competition of the Pirates in the final series while the Astros choked at home against the Brewers. That would be far from the season's biggest choke.

The Cubs just barely beat the Braves in the division series, 3 games to 2. The Chicago media went completely ape shit and reletlessly shoved pro-Cubbie propaganda down the throats of Chicagoans. People on the fence or who just didn't really care were easily swayed by the media hype and the Cubs' bandwagon was overflowing.

Their opponents in the next round would be the wild card Marlins (91 wins) who had upset the Giants.

Game 1 the Marlins lead until Sammy Sosa tied it with an annoying home run in the 9th. Mike Lowell hit a pinch hit homer in the 11th and the Marlins took a 1-0 lead with a 9-8 victory.

Game 2 the Cubs hit a bunch of home runs, and won it 12-3.

The Cubs won game 3 in Florida when Doug Glanville knocked in Kenny Lofton with an RBI triple in the 11th inning for a 5-4 win. The Marlins blew several golden opportunities in this one. The Cubs now lead the series 2-1.

Dontrelle Willis was on the mound in game 4, but a first inning grand slam by Aramis Ramirez was too much to overcome, and the Cubs now had a 3-1 lead with a 8-3 victory. 

Could it be? The Chicago Cubs were just 1 win away from the World Series, and they had 3 games to get just this 1 victory. And wait, Mark Prior and Kerry Wood will be pitching? There was no doubt in any Cub fans mind they were going to the world series.

The media was in a frenzy. Instead of the first 15 minutes of the news being about Cubbie bullshit, now the first 20 were.

Here was the first chance to get that final win, game 5. The Cubs fans had waited 58 long hard years for this. And Josh Beckett didn't seem to care about all that. He two-hit the Cubs and struck out 11. Marlins win 2-0. That was just fine for Cubs fans, though. Now they could win it at home, and Mark Prior was pitching, and if somehow they didn't win that game, Kerry Wood was pitching game 7. Piece of cake.

Game 6 will never be forgotten. The Cubs had built a 3-0 lead going into the 8th inning. Giddy Cubs fans were dancing in the aisles and got a head start on partying. Why worry? Mark Prior was on the mound and pitching well. He had retired 8 in a row until Juan Pierre hit a double with one out in the 8th. Still, they were up 3-0, five outs away from the world series.

Luis Castillo was up next. He worked the count full. Many fans were standing as Prior delivered, still with the expectation that they were going to the world series. It was nearing the moment Cubs fans had had wet dreams about for their entire miserable lives, and how nice it would be to catch a foul ball as a souvenir of this historic occasion...

Castillo hit a playable foul to left. Moises Alou ran toward the stands, timed it perfectly, and reached up the brick wall for a catch that would have put the Cubs within four outs of the World Series. As he jumped, five or six clueless Cub fans reached for the ball. 

The lucky fan who completely robbed Alou was none other than the geeky walkman-clad Steve Bartman. Alou through his hands up and had a hissy fit. Prior, a tremendous pussy, got rattled by all of this. He went on to walk Castillo, and Pierre moved to third on Prior's wild pitch during the at-bat. Florida had men on the corners with one out.

Ivan Rodriguez was next. Prior deservingly lost his shutout as Rodriguez came through again with a single to left that scored Pierre. Castillo moved to second. It was 3-1. The Fish (and the Cubs) were far from finished.

Miguel Cabrera was next, and the biggest fuck up came then. He his a weak grounder to shortstop Alex Gonzalez, the ball hit the heel of his glove and bounced away. E6, bases loaded!

Next was Derek Lee. He ripped a double to left field that brought home Castillo and Rodriguez to tie the score and shock the Cubs fans who were moments ago celebrating. This was also their cue to throw trash, a Wrigley tradition when something gets fucked up. But instead of throwing it on the field, they threw it at a defenseless Bartman who had to be escorted out.

Cub fans love to make Bartman their scape goat, but we all know Cub fans are out of touch with reality. Here's the reality: Bartman didn't walk Castillo. Bartman didn't make a huge error. Bartman didn't give up all those hits. THE FUCKING CUBS DID.

Overrated relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth replaced Prior. He intentionally walked Mike Lowell to load the bases. Jeff Conine hit a sac fly to right, and the Marlins now led it, 4-3!

Todd Hollandsworth walked, then Mike Mordecai ensured that there would be a Game 7, clearing the bases with a double to make it 7-3. Pierre knocked him in with a single to finish the scoring, and Castillo -- whose foul had started the wild turn of events -- ended the inning by popping out to second.

Marlins win 8-3. Kerry Wood and the Cubs had to win game 7 or forever be remembered as colossal chokers, blowing a 3-1 series lead.

Game 7 started well. Miguel Cabrera hit a 3-run homer off Kerry in the first, and things looked great. However, the Cubs came back and then took the 5-3 lead, with a wind-aided Kerry Wood homer mixed in.

Pudge Rodriguez hit a run scoring double to make it 5-4 in the 5th. Later with runners on second and third, Miguel Cabrera's RBI grounder to first tied the game. Florida went up, 6-5, on Derrek Lee's run-scoring single to right.

The final score ended up 9-7 and the Chicago Cubs had choked away a 3-1 lead in amazing fashion. Cubs fans were stunned. I think they still are. It was a truly beautiful thing to witness. The Marlins defeated the Yankees and were the 2003 World Series Champions!



In 2003 

the Cubs again lost the city series to the White Sox 4-2

Sammy got caught cheating







"The only words I have is, maybe he was a Marlins fan. That's the only thing I can come up with. I don't know if it's a natural reaction to try to catch the ball, but if you're for your team, you have to give your player every opportunity and chance to catch the ball. I talked to Mo [Alou], he said he timed it perfectly, he was right there, and all of a sudden the ball was gone." -Dusty Baker
























































































































































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