He proved it—not
a twitch, not a blink—as Werth whacked a two-run single in the sixth, widening
the Phils' lead to 3--1. "My anger ran its course years ago, as all natural
things should," he mused. I loved this guy. I sprang to the concession
stand to snag us two more beers, shocked by the beer lady's edict that I could
buy only one. The police, watching swagger turn to stagger, had just decreed a
one-per-customer limit, forcing me to take two steps to the right, to the beer
lady beside her, to buy my second.
I returned just
in time to begin singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame only to notice, out of the
left corner of my eye ... yes, another marriage busting out, a young man on one
knee offering up the big question and the big rock to a young woman in a
sleeveless Cubbie T-shirt.
"Just—say—no!" chanted Judy behind me.
have they to be happy?" queried Fred.
21-year-old Megan Bart, slipped on the ring and flushed. The man, 27-year-old
former Padres minor leaguer Rusty Moore, rejoiced. "Why here?" I asked
atmosphere is unmatched," he replied. Even trailing 3--1? "This year,
for once, I just don't think something bad is going to happen," he
happened. Ryan Howard, as Rusty spoke, poleaxed a pitch to dead center: 4--1
Phils. Werth bludgeoned another: 5--1 Phils.
Tissue just sat and sipped, transcending. "In the early '60s," he said,
"I saw the Cubs give up a three-run homer on a bunt. How can life
disappoint you after that?" His head moved in a small radial. "These
fans believe we'll win this year. I can't let myself be sucked into
It was time, I
decided, to put the Buddha's detachment to the ultimate test. Yes ...
young man wearing earphones and a Cubs hat in a seat near the leftfield line
who, on the evening of Oct. 14, 2003—with Chicago leading 3--0 and five outs
away from a World Series berth—rose and touched a foul pop-up just as Cubs
leftfielder Moises Alou reached for it, possibly preventing him from catching
it, initiating a catastrophic sequence of events, including a butchered
double-play ball, that resulted in an eight-run inning and culminated in an
8--3 loss to the Florida Marlins ... and no World Series, again. Bartman, the
one incident that provoked Cub Nation to lose its sense of humor, to shower
slurs and threats, until two diehards, one of them a pyrotechnician, had the
cursed ball rigged with explosives and blown to smithereens.