Baseball, Bart Giamatti said, is designed to break your heart.
All credit to the Chicago Cubs, of course. They were down 3-1 in games and had to win three in a row — the last two on the road — to take the series.
But take a moment to shed a tear for the Cleveland Indians. (My wife is.) They scrapped and they pushed and they never gave up, even when they were down 6-3 in the eighth and facing Aroldis Chapman, only to come up one run short.
I didn’t see the all the excitement, by the way. As the cliche has it, I’m getting too old for this shit, and I had fallen asleep in the seventh. I had imagined — dreamed? — of a Bernie Carbo moment but didn’t think it was going to happen.
But it wasn’t to be for the Indians, even after they managed to get within a run in the bottom of the 10th.
It sucks that someone had to lose this game.
I’m happy for the Cubs and their fans, who faced down both the forecasts of their championship (they were the betting favorites going into the season) and all the curses they’d been laden with over the years. Bill Murray deserves to dance in the clubhouse. Theo Epstein will never have to buy a beer again.
But the Indians were so close — so close! They’d lost two of their starters before the season was even over. (Terry Francona should be in Cooperstown, too, for his managing job.) They looked lost midway through this game and somehow sent it into extra innings. They deserved a championship, too.
Francona said it best afterwards.
“It’s going to hurt,” he said. “It hurts because we care, but they need to walk with their head held high because they left nothing on the field. And that’s all the things we ever ask them to do. They tried until there was nothing left.”
Nothing but heart.