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Entertainment, Sports

Catching Hell: Opening old wounds

I can’t say I was excited about watching ESPN’s documentary “Catching Hell” on Tuesday.

I had been interested in seeing it since it was announced last year, but I wasn’t looking forward to it. After all, it was just going to cause me to relive my worst sports memory of all time.

So I sat in front of the TV on Tuesday with plenty to drink. And boy, did I need the drinks throughout the movie.

+++

I remember Game 6 vividly. With Mark Prior on the mound, I had no doubt the Cubs were going to the World Series.

I was talking to Clay in the eighth inning. We were planning our trip to Chicago, where we were going to stand on the street for one of the World Series games. With a 3-0 lead and Prior still cruising on the mound, I didn’t think I was jinxing the Cubs’ chances at all.

Then, with one out, Luis Castillo hit the ball to left field. Moises Alou was all set to catch it, when a fan’s hands stretched over and prevented the catch.

“Oh shit,” I remember saying.

Like many Cubs fans, I pretty much knew they were going to lose at that point. The curse had reared its ugly head and punched Cubs fans right in the gut.

Of course, I was right. The Cubs lost the game and then the series.

+++

The documentary did a good of describing what happened when Bartman knocked the ball away. They interviewed people who were sitting nearby, and had fan videos from people throughout the stadium.

I would have liked to have heard from a few of the other Cubs players about the play, especially Mark Prior. What was going on in his mind after the play? I would have rather had interviews like that instead of 30 minutes on Bill Buckner.

After watching the whole documentary, my thoughts on the situation are unchanged.

I feel bad for Bartman. No one should have to get death threats and go into hiding because of a baseball. That said, it was fan interference, and Castillo should have been called out.

Yes, Alex Gonzalez screwed up the double play. However, if there are two outs, then he doesn’t have to hurry the play and makes the easy out.

If the proper fan interference call is made, I have no doubts the Cubs win that game. Once that play happened, it completely threw off everyone on the Cubs. That’s not really professional of them, but that’s what happened.

I hope one day Bartman can come out of hiding and get a proper apology from the Cubs organization, the media and Cubs fans. Heck, have him throw out the first pitch the next time the Cubs make the playoffs. That would seem like a fitting way to try and reverse the curse.

Crappy MLB playoff predictions

Before giving my crappy baseball playoff picks, I thought it would be good to revisit my preseason predictions.

My crystal ball was working on some of my picks. Others, not so much.

The original predictions are in italics.

AL East

1. Boston: Top to bottom, the deepest and most talented team in all of baseball.

2. New York (WC): Starting rotation still has a lot of question marks, but Yankees will still easily win the wild card.

3. Tampa Bay: Manny and Johnny Damon will help keep the Rays in contention for a bit.

Looking back: Clearly I wasn’t referring to Boston’s pitching staff when I said deep and talented. And the Manny prediction for the Rays was a bit off.

AL Central

1. Chicago: The most solid of the Central squads. Bullpen still a bit of a question, but the offense is stout.

2. Detroit: Pitching staff will need to carry the Tigers.

Looking back: Well, pitching did carry the Tigers. The White Sox finished third.

AL West

1. Texas: No Lee, but the pitching staff is still solid. Offense is great, too.

Looking back: Well, I got something right in the AL.

Awards

AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Boston

AL Cy Young: David Price, Tampa Bay

Looking back: Gonzo had MVP like numbers, but Verlander, Granderson, Batista and Ellsbury all likely finish ahead of him. Price was a bad miss.

NL East

1. Philadelphia: A little banged up, but that pitching staff is still top notch.

2. Atlanta: I’m not as high on the Braves as a lot of people are.

Looking back: 2-for-2 baby!

NL Central

1. Milwaukee: Deep pitching, strong offense and a motivated Prince. If Brewers don’t win the division, then they never will.

2. Chicago (WC): The offense isn’t great and the starting pitching is solid, but not overwhelming. However, I think the Cubs have the best bullpen in the NL.

5. St. Louis: With Pujols in lame duck status, I predict a collapse by the Cards this year.

Looking back: Boy, I was right on the money with the Brewers. As for the rest of the division…let’s just move on.

NL West

1. San Francisco

2. Colorado

3. San Diego

4. Los Angeles

Looking back: I somehow didn’t even list the Diamondbacks in my preview. #fail

Awards

NL MVP: Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee (I got a hunch on this)

NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia

Looking back: Braun is the prediction I am most proud of this season.

AL Playoffs

Division: Boston over Chicago, New York over Texas

ALCS: Boston over New York

Unless they have injury issues, the Red Sox are just too strong.

Looking back: Whoops

NL Playoffs

Division: San Francisco over Milwaukee, Chicago over Philadelphia

NCLS: Chicago over San Francisco

I’m a homer. However…I do think if the Cubs are in this come July, they are going to make a move for a big piece, whether it’s a top starter or a good bat (more likely). The Giants proved if your pitching gets hot at the right time, you can win a pennant.

Looking back: Wow….just…wow.

World Series

Boston over Chicago in six

I would cry. And then find a way to blame Bartman.

Looking back: Well, at least I won’t be crying at the end of the playoffs.

So now that we have gone through the crappy preseason predictions, here are my new crappy predictions.

AL Playoffs

Division Detroit over New York (4 games), Texas over Tampa Bay (5)

ALCS: Texas over Detroit (6)

I think Texas has the better offense and deeper bullpen. Should be a fun series.

NL Playoffs

Division: Philadelphia over St. Louis (4), Milwaukee over Arizona (4)

NLCS: Milwaukee over Philadelphia (6)

I think this is the Brewers’ year. They have been playing well late this season, and the pitching staff can match Phily’s.

World Series

Milwaukee over Texas (6)

Prince Fielder wins the MVP. He proceeds to sign with the Cubs in the offseason, then gains 150 pounds and can’t hit above .250. FML.

Mad ramblings

Reporters come to blows after a Twitter fued. Not going to lie, I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often.

• Brad Pitt is so dreamy. Clearly this means Billy Beane should be the Bears next GM.

• Interesting interactive map showing if there is regional bias college football polls.

• Will Muschamp — not a Star Wars fan.

• As Andy said when posting this link of Facebook changes, this could get AWK-WARD.

• I’ve decided to get the Droid Bionic with my upgrade on Saturday. Looking forward to having a phone that works all the time, now.

Bear Down and Keep the Faith!

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About Joshua Buckley

I used to be a Sports Editor. Now I'm the Media Relations Manager at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.

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Instagram: @dabearsman

Great scene at Concord Bridge - free BBQ and supply dropoff for a neighborhood flooded during the storm. #HoustonStrong #RollTide Proof that we have been surviving the storm. #Harvey #BeerMe Mandatory #Houston sunshine photo. Great to see after the past four days. This is the retention pond behind our neighborhood which is protecting our homes from being flooded. Earlier this week it was empty. Now there is more than 10-feet of water in it. It actually went down a bit this afternoon when we got a slight break from the rain. It can still hold another 12 or so feet before it goes over its bank. Hopefully it can hang in there the next few days. That moment when you realize #Harvey could prevent you from watching the #GOT finale.
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