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I have tickets to the last home game of 2011. Should I go?
-J.J., Abrams WI
In addition to potentially seeing Starlin Castro's 200th hit, there are at least 10 good reasons to attend.
* You'll see the last game Mike Quade manages at Wrigley Field.
* It will be the only time in history a baseball team that included eight black cattle ranchers clinched a division . . . at least in the National League.
* Marlee Matlin is singing the seventh-inning stretch.
• The Ricketts family has opted to replace the face-painting booth with a nipple-painting booth.
* The third annual Red Cross Chicago Sperm Drive is being held in the main concourse after the game.
* First eight fans through the turnstiles get to play left field.
* Ken Burns is going to have a special viewing of his new Cubs documentary, Pandering To Suckers: A Century Of Optimism.
* The guy Sammy Sosa got traded for* might hit a home run . . . and isn't that the only reason we go to see the Cubs anyway?
* Your 11-year-old daughter needs help with her math homework. Remember what happened last time? Avoid further embarrassment and go to the game.
* Turns out this whole failed season was part of a plot by Old Man Withers (owner of the haunted coffee bar on Grace Street) to devalue the Cubs organization and lower property taxes in Wrigleyville. And he would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those snooping kids . . . oh wait. He got away with it.
Is it worse to be the Cubs or the Astros this year?
-Pat, Swayze IN
It's not like either team was expected to provide the baseball equivalent of a raw doggin' some randoms this season.
But even though the Astros are basically running the Durham Bulls onto Minute Enron Field every day, I'll go with the Cubs, who may fail to meet our collective 75- to 85-win expectation.
This team is gonna suck next year too, isn't it?
-Doug, Gilmore City IA
I choose to look on the bright side.
This time next year we could be having a discussion about Tyler Colvin providing inadequate protection in the fifth spot to Albert Pujols.
Or, the Cubs would have been in the wild-card hunt if Andrew Cashner hadn't broken down in mid-July.
Dare to dream, Cubs Nation. Dare to dream.
*True story. I lost a bet that the Orioles second baseman coming back in the Sosa trade would start more than 300 games for the Cubs . . . because I got Jerry Hairston Jr. confused with Brian Roberts. Glossing over the particulars, I'll say that I don't look good in drag and I won't be making any "tuck" wagers in the future.
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