One team with curse , another with a star bidding farewell in the MLB Playoffs
The first major playoff storyline is one that is 108 years in the making. The Chicago Cubs come into the postseason holding the best record in the league, a miraculous 103 wins, and a lineup that had all of its infielders start in this year’s All-Star Game. With big bats like Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo at the plate, and aces like Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester on the mound, the Cubs are the heavy favorite to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy when it is all said and done.
The only problem is that Chicago has been in this position before. It is not the team’s talent that is holding them back, but a curse. Much like the “Curse of the Bambino” that the Red Sox had to overcome back in 2004, the Cubs franchise has been “cursed” since their last championship in 1908. Whether it is the “Curse of the Billy Goat,” or the infamous Steve Bartman-Moisés Alou incident in 2003, the Cubs have been so close, yet so far, for a long time.
Last year looked like it would finally be their time until they had to go up against the New York Mets in the National League Championship Series. This year, they find themselves back in contention again. If this Cubs team can finally lift the curse, it would undoubtedly be one of the best sports stories of the decade. It would also add a second franchise to the list of teams that have broken a curse while Theo Epstein has been in the front office (see: Boston, 2013).
Despite the incredible story with the Cubs in the National League, there is also an amazing thread in the American League this postseason. David “Big Papi” Ortiz is in his final season with the Boston Red Sox. He is arguably the best designated hitter the sport has ever seen, and he is looking to go out on top. Despite this being his final season, Ortiz has been a large part of the Red Sox claiming the AL East Division crown this year. His .315 batting average, 38 home runs, and 127 runs batted in are unprecedented at his age of 40, and the fact that he is still this productive in his 19th season is nothing short of incredible. Most players experience a decline in their last few seasons, but not Ortiz.
Ortiz capturing his fourth World Series win and ending his career at the top would be an incredible moment in baseball, and cement Ortiz’s already Hall Of Fame-caliber legacy. This scenario is something we saw earlier this year in the NFL with another all-time great going out on top in his final game: Peyton Manning, who captured a Super Bowl title with the Denver Broncos.
So that brings about the question—which outcome would be more impressive?
Many would say that the Cubs breaking their century-long curse is the easy pick, but I myself am not so sure. The Cubs earning the title would bring joy to a city in an unthinkable championship drought, but there is just something about a legend playing his final game and walking off the field for the very last time a winner.
This Cubs team is not going anywhere any time soon. They are a young squad that is sure to dominate the next few years in the NL.
Ortiz, on the other hand, can only have his last game once. Nothing would be better than to see the veteran and Boston hero aid his team in securing a World Series before he walks off into the sunset. No matter what happens though, I just hope we get to see these two teams meet in the World Series to battle it out, “Curse of the Billy Goat” versus Big Papi’s final game.