Was it Really Steve Bartman’s Fault?

2003 was the Chicago Cubs year.

They had three aces; Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, and Carlos Zambrano. In the lineup, they had power; Sammy Sosa hit 40 home runs, Moises Alou hit 22, Alex Gonzalez hit 20, and Aramis Ramirez hit 15.

October 14, 2003 was suppose be the night the Cubs clinched their first World Series since 1945, but in the end, there was chaos instead of celebration.

Mark Prior was cruising, the Cubs had 3-0 lead, and he had five outs to go. Luis Castillo came up to the plate. Castillo swung, and hit a foul ball to left. Left fielder Moises Alou jumped at the wall in left field, but so did Cubs fans. One got the blame, and his name was Steve Bartman. Bartman wasn’t the only one that went after the ball, though. About six others did, and Bartman was blamed because he was right there.

After Bartman’s blunder, the Cubs fell apart. All momentum appeared to be gone and on the Marlins side.

In reality, though, the Cubs are to blame, just as much as Bartman was. Why?

Well, as Cliff Corcoran points in an Sports Illustrated article, the Cubs had given up five hits before Castillo’s at-bat. Castillo later walked. Then, the Cubs surrendered two runs via two intentional walks. That wasn’t the end, either. Alex Gonzalez made a costly error on a hit by Miguel Cabrera. The Marlins scored eight in the eighth and forced a Game 7.

In Game 7, the Cubs had another chance, but the Marlins would win the series and later the World Series.

In the end, the Cubs could have had a short memory. They instead got rattled. They had a chance to find composure after Bartman. They had a chance to win Game 7. But, they let a bad call change, what could have been, history.

History that will have to wait 68 more years.

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