Thursday, September 27, 2007
Marlins Own The Cubs
Baseball can be toughest sport to figure out. The Marlins are a last place team with nothing to play for and just trying to finish their season with dignity. The Cubs are a first place team fighting for a division title with dreams of a championship season. But the baseball gods don't care about standings or won-loss records. The Marlins 3 game sweep of the Cubs gave Florida 10 consecutive victories over the boys from the Windy City's northside.
Just imagine the frustration of Cubs fans. They make up one of the most loyal and rabid fanbases in all of baseball and sports. The Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908. They haven't even reached the World Series since 1945 and only four times since have qualified for the postseason. But that doesn't stop Cub fans from faithfully following their lovable losers. On the flipside, the Marlins have won 2 World Series titles in the last decade. But their fanbase is hardly loyal. The Marlins rank dead last in attendance and at one point drew just 400 people for an afternoon home game. Cub fans dominated the makeup of the crowds during this past three-game series. But they will leave South Florida crying in their beer.
Indeed it seemed the Marlin/Cubs series was played in Wrigley Field Jr.--not Dolphins Stadium. Even actor/comedian and longtime Cubs fanatic Bill Murray came down to South Florida to watch the Marlins beat his beloved team. It seemed just about every Cub fan in South Florida made it to Dolphins Stadium except the infamous Steve Bartman, who in a small way helped the Marlins win their second World Series.
The Marlins finished their home schedule in style. But I can't help but feel bittersweet about this sweep. It may be the last time Marlin fans will ever see Dontrelle Willis pitch in a Florida uniform in South Florida. While Willis has suffered through his worst season on the mound, he remains one of the most popular players to ever wear the Marlins uniform. Willis insisted after his victory Tuesday night that he would return to the Marlins. But I'm not so sure general manager Larry Beinfest would agree.