Opinion by Michael Royster
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Curmudgeon begs leave of his readers, particularly those in or from the USA, to point out that yesterday, the Day of the Dead, an historic event occurred. The Chicago Cubs (or Kubs, as we’ll call them—read on) won the World Series!
Well, actually, it was already 12:45 AM in today’s morning, November 3rd, when the final out of the final game actually occurred. But who’s going to quibble with minute details after a wait of 108 years?
The Curmudgeon became a Yankee fan as a child living in New York. When the family moved to the Chicago area, still a child and Yankee fan, he learned to hate the White Sox who sought to overturn the long-established Yankee hegemony over the American League.
But Chicago had another team, the Cubs, from the National League, whose raison d’être was to supply a team the Yankees could and would routinely thrash in the World Series. The Cubs were cute and cuddly and … incompetent, not having won anything for decades.
So, the Curmudgeon became a sort of Cubs fan, particularly when they played the Giants and the Dodgers—once New York teams who had set out for the West Coast. The Curmudgeon hated both because they had had the effrontery to challenge the Yankees for supremacy in New York City.
All change. In 2016, the Cubbies grew up, winning 103 games in the season, the most of any team in either league. In the post-season, they became the CK team. “CK” can be short for Comeback Kubs, as the Cubbies came back from almost certain defeat to the Giants and the Dodgers to win their way into the World Series.
CK also is short for, arguably, the two best pitchers in baseball today: Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Cory Kluber of the Cleveland Indians. The Dodgers tried to ride Kershaw’s arm into the Series, but the Comeback Kubs won out. The Indians tried with Kluber’s arm, but the Comeback Kubs won out.
The Curmudgeon failed to mention above that he also used to hate the Cleveland Indians, because in 1954 his Yankees won 103 games in the season, but Cleveland won an astonishing 111 games to clinch the American League pennant—of course, not being the Yankees, they lost the World Series to the Giants.
In this CK year, notwithstanding the abysmal performance by his beloved Yankees, the Curmudgeon is feeling vindicated. The Comeback Kubs, acting (unbeknownst to themselves) as surrogates and doppelgangers for the Bronx Bombers, defeated the three MLB teams the Curmudgeon most wants to see lose. Curmudgeonly Kudos!
Cue music: “Happy days are here again!” All is right with the world and the Curmudgeon can now happily wait for next year when, if there is any justice, the New York Yankees will once again prevail over all comers.
The Curmudgeon will return to his usual haunts after the symptoms of the CK Syndrome begin to decline.