Friday, February 5, 2010

Dear Cubs Fans, LET IT GO!

The argument I HATE, with a passion, is when certain Cub fans come up to me and say Steve Bartman blew the Cubs chances in 2003. As a studying economist and sabermetrician hobbyist, I know this isn't correct. But I need proof. Data. Analysis. Hard numbers. Ron Santo's hair piece.

So I embarked on a journey through the inter-web, trying to find some statistical measurements about that fateful October night and low and behold, I found it courtesy of Tom Tango from the Hardball Times. He had this to say about the Cubs collapse.

Basically, the Bartman incident only decreased the Cubs chances of winning by 3%. The odds were still HEAVILY in their favor with a whopping 92% at that point.

There we have it. Finally. Some sense to this nonsensical argument.

So please, Cubs fans that blame Bartman for 2003, Brangelina, Miley Cyrus, and the bailout, stop embarrassing yourselves and the rest of Cubs nation and LET IT GO.

Besides, you know you would've reached for that ball as well.


Something extra:
1)ESPN is doing a documentary on Steve Bartman for their "30 for 30" series titled "Catching Hell".
2)In July of 2005, Wayne Drehs of ESPN wrote an excellent piece about finding Steve Bartman...you can read it here.
3)And if you still aren't sold on this, allow me to tug on your heart strings; imagine your last game at Wrigley Field to watch your beloved Cubbies play ended like this.

7 comments:

  1. Very nice, WS. I always like to see Cubs fans stick up for Bartman who has been hung out to dry by not only the media and fans, but also the organization.

    I'm also still not convinced Alou had a shot at that ball anyway

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  2. The Cubs lost that game because Mark Prior exploded in the top of the 8th and the infield gave up an error in a crucial moment. Bartman didn't make us lose any other game, either.

    Shame on us.

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  3. Good call. I feel humiliated when I watch that video.

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  4. Thanks for the comments guys. The implosion of the pitching staff and the fielding costed us that game...NOT one fan.

    Many thanks to Tom Tango for the data compilation. What an amazing piece of work on his end. I have a feeling I'll be referencing it many times in the future...lol.

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  5. I disagree with the underlying premise. I can't recall a single conversation with any Cubs fan, whether it was online, at Wrigley or at a bar in the city or suburbs or anywhere else, where that fan still blamed Steve Bartman. Not since at least 2005 or so. Everyone remembers the Alex Gonzalez bobble and Dusty's not pulling Prior after all those pitches or even visiting the mound when Mark was clearly rattled. And then Dusty again not pulling Prior after continuing to pile up pitches.

    And it's not like I only run into SABR-guys; not even fans who get their info from Kaplan or ones who think Steve Stone should be the GM blame Bartman. Surprisingly, just about everyone actually agrees that it would be cool if he threw out the first pitch in a playoff game. I had that conversation repeatedly with different people at different venues as the playoffs approached in 2007 & 2008. Maybe you've run into a few morons but I don't see this as some largely held belief. And there are a LOT of Cubs blogs, they're not all fountains of wisdom but I doubt you can point to a blog post damning Steve Bartman. At most, there's maybe a sentence here or there in jest.

    Fuck FOX and ESPN. Of course they're going to bring up stupid shit. They're going to focus on curses and drama and 'tragedy' and even leave out the important plays in that inning. That's what they do. They did it incessantly with the Red Sox before and also with the Black Sox thing in 2005. Once again, THAT'S WHAT THEY DO. It doesn't reflect what Cubs fans think anymore than constant harping about Bambino curses and thrown WS games reflected what Sox fans thought.

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  6. Nice post and I couldn't agree more. @MB - I don't think the organization has ever blamed Bartman. I recall Alou commenting that night that he "did not cause us to lose this game." I don't ever recall any on field personnel blaming Bartman. This is all on the fans and the media.

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  7. @ Weapon X:

    Unfortunately, all we (Smith and I) have in regards to evidence of Cubs fans' feelings toward Bartman is our own personal experiences and what we've seen on the media. It may be because I've spent much of my life away from Chicago where fans rely on these national media outlets for information (or opinformation).

    "F*** FOX and ESPN." I couldn't agree more.

    If Bartman could throw out a first pitch, my heart would double in size. And not in a cardiac-arrest kind of way, more like a Grinch way.

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