The Chicago Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908. They haven’t even made an appearance in the Fall Classic since the year the USA bombed Japan with atomic bombs.
The Cleveland Indians, meanwhile, have been to the World Series just four times since 1945. There’s a reason why ESPN did the documentary Believeland. The Indians are very susceptible to losing and breaking their diehard fans’ hearts. They’ve only won the Fall Classic once during that time frame, which includes losing Game 7 of the 1997 World Series to the Miami Marlins. Side note: Is it still okay to call them the Florida Marlins?
Can baseball fans imagine it? A World Series on FOX with two franchises who are so well-known for choking down the stretch? Everybody remembers Steve Bartman going after that foul ball down the left field line, but the memory of the Indians blowing a 3-1 series lead in the 2007 ALCS kind of gets thrown under the mat.
I hate to bring that up Indians fans, but that actually happened. Some Indians fans are still probably repressing memories of Games 5, 6, and 7 of that series. Courtesy of MLB’s YouTube channel:
For good reason.
But maybe 2016 is just a magical year for sports fans who are used to their favorite sports teams losing. After all, the Cleveland Cavaliers erased a 3-1 series deficit to beat the seemingly unbeatable Golden State Warriors. That championship was the first title for ANY Cleveland franchise since 1964.
Leicester City won the Premier League this past spring after finishing in 14th place in 2015. They were 5,000-to-1 odds to win Europe’s most prestigious soccer (fútbol?) league. The San Jose Sharks finally reached the Stanley Cup Finals after so many failed attempts during the postseason that Joe Thornton lost his captain letter on his hockey sweater. Side note: They’re called hockey sweaters, not hockey jerseys.
Besides the pure history behind the Cubs and Indians always losing when the games matter the most, the statistics tend to list the Cubs and Indians as the two best teams remaining. Check out this postseason statistic for AL Cy Young hopeful Corey Kluber:
Corey Kluber, postseason career:
13.1 innings pitched, 0 runs allowed, 13 strikeouts
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) October 15, 2016
The Cubs are by far the best team remaining in all of baseball. Their 103 regular season wins pretty much tell the story of how they dominated in the Big Show all season. Any three of their starting pitchers (Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jake Arrieta) could win the NL Cy Young, and Kris Bryant is the favorite to win NL MVP.
Just think of the potential matchups. SS: Francisco Lindor versus Addison Russell. 2B: Jason Kipnis vs Ben Zobrist/Javier Baez. The list goes on and on. Oh, and one last thing. Remember the movie Major League 2? The series that received the most press attention during the film was Chicago versus Cleveland. Granted, that was the ALCS of the Indians vs the White Sox.
I love baseball, and I’d definitely still watch Dodgers vs Blue Jays in the 2016 Fall Classic.
But I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t secretly hoping for Cubs vs Indians.
Two lovable losers facing off against each other to see who ends on top? It’s a storybook ending to a crazy and always entertaining 2016 MLB season.