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Are you scared? I am.
Yes, this Cubs team is different. They know not from goats.
Yes, this manager is different. He embraces goats.
Yes, this fan base is different. They prefer beards that make them look like goats.
But the universe has a will. A goat-based will.
Now don't get me wrong. There are no such thing as curses. (At least that's what I keep telling myself and my therapist.)
And I'm sick of goats. I'm sick of the Billy Goat. I'm sick of Bill Murray's Goatbusters. I'm sick of the whole damn thing.
But you can't be a Cubs fan of a certain age without feeling a bit of trepidation. The universe has rules. What goes up must come down. Time is relative. Diet Pepsi is better than Diet Coke, but regular Coke is better than regular Pepsi. This is just the way the universe is made.
And for some reason, the Cubs don't get to World Series' anymore, much less win them.
I thought I didn't feel this way anymore. I thought the dread - the internal repetitive thoughts of just how the Cubs will blow it - was through. I thought I had changed, just as the Cubs have changed.
But the closer we get, the harder it is to repress the past. That's the real curse.
The Week in Review: The Cubs opened the playoffs with two wins against the Giants at Wrigley. It was both classic and weird.
The Week in Preview: With a 2-0 lead in the best-of-three series, the Cubs travel to the West Coast to begin the painful process of reminding their fans what this franchise is: Cursed.
Musical Outfielders: And no, we aren't talking about Matt Szczur playing the French horn. In fact, Szczur isn't even on the roster for this series, giving way to the relatively surging Albert Almora. No matter, Ben Zobrist has played both of the first two games in left so Javy Baez could play second. Dexter Fowler has been in center and Jason Heyward in right, of course, but the real fun in the outfield carousel could begin Monday night; Joe Maddon is hinting that Heyward could sit and Soler and Almora could play. So next week's Musical Outfielders item will be much more fun than this week's.
Former Annoying Cub of the Week: Ricky Renteria.
Current Annoying Cub of the Week: Javy Baez, because his heroic antics have nearly been matched by his anti-heroic antics.
Mad(don) Scientist: Going to Travis Wood in Game 2 to replace an injured Kyle Hendricks early instead of putative longman and sixth (fifth in the playoffs) starter Mike Montgomery was the Maddon Scientist's typical stroke of genius, given that Montgomery does not hit that home run. You almost start to feel like Maddon is just toying with everybody, like it's a Star Trek episode or something.
Kubs Kalendar: Every fan attending Game 5 at Wrigley on Thursday will receive free post-traumatic stress disorder treatment starting the second the Giants record the last out and advance to the National League Championship Series.
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that the universe has a will, and that will is not to be fucked with.
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