by Hilary Barta
Game Three for the Cubs, piece of cake?
Game Three, oh how Wrigley will shake
The fervor, the sound!
Steel nerves on the mound…
Game Three and our pitcher is Jake.
It’s October, which means it’s time to visit Hilary’s limerick site, LimerWrecks, for all sorts of creepy salutes to classic monster movies.
By Hilary Barta
Defeating the Cards isn’t easy
So much so the Cubs went all squeeze-y
The suicides worked
Garcia looked irked
Though later he claimed he felt queasy.
by the Village Elliott
For Leo “the Lip” Durocher*
This old Cards fan is glad he’s survived
To see rivalry with Cubs revived.
Alex, Brock, Leon D,**
Played their parts, as did he
Who, as “Skip,”, is part Captain derived.
The last Dean of Cubs College jumped ship:
“Worked when Branch ordered his Captain’s trip,
But when I did, team sunk.
Ain’t my fault these Cubs stunk,
Unlike Gas House Gang,” claimed “Skip ‘The Lip’.”***
While musing old memories revived
Season ends and League Playoffs arrived.
Glad the Cubs won Play-In,
Play the Cards with the win
For old “Skipper” part “Captain” derived.
* Hall of Famer (HoF) Leo Durocher was shortstop for the 1934 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, immortalized as the “Gas House Gang.” The last week of the season, Cards GM Branch Rickey (HoF) counter-intuitively “arranged” for his distracted team captain to marry Grace Dozier so Leo could refocus on winning the pennant. It worked. Thirty-five years and two divorces later, while manager of the first-place Cubs. Leo wed Lynn Walker Goldblatt in early July. At the end of the month they slipped away to visit his stepson. When it was revealed his unexpected absence wasn’t due to illness, it was the latest (some say decisive) chapter of Leo’s mishandling of the team that ended in Cubs’ epic collapse to the “Miracle Mets.” Leo lamely tried to excuse his self-indulgence by claiming he was trying to recreate the magic of the Gas House Gang.
**In June 1926, the Cubs’ new manager Joe McCarthy (HoF) waived 39-year-old Grover Cleveland Alexander (HoF), claiming he was a “washed-up alcoholic”. The Cardinals’ new skipper Rogers Hornsby (HoF), knowing greatness remained, immediately signed “Alex,” and the Cardinal dynasty and Cubs rivalry was born. Thirty-eight years later, the Cards traded 20-game winner Ernie Broglio for “underachieving” Cubs outfielder Lou Brock (HoF), who revived the Cards dynasty of the 60’s. Cubs fans are still crying about Broglio, who was long out of the game by the time Leo sunk the ship five years later. In 1981, Cardinals GM Whitey Herzog (HoF) traded promising Leon Durham for Cubs closer Bruce Sutter (HoF), cornerstone of Cards ’82 World Champions. Durham played at an All-Star level for a few years, but is best remembered as the proto-Bill Buckner for his play in ’84 playoffs. The teams’ rivalry revived as both teams won multiple division titles, with the Cards twice losing the Series, and the Cubs never making it that far.
***Durocher was hired to manage the Cubs for 1966, replacing Wrigley’s ill-fated five-year experimental College of Coaches. “If no announcement has been made about what my title is,” Durocher said, “I’m making it here and now. I’m the manager, not the head coach. so call me ‘Skipper’ or ‘Skip,’ not ‘Coach.'”
by Hilary Barta
For Pittsburgh, a Wild Card ordeal
More than a base Cubs’ pitching would steal
Bucs choked at the plate
Was it something they ate?
No, Jake had the team for a meal
By James Finn Garner
You think all your dues’ve been paid
You’d love a post-season parade
But Jake Arrieta
Could not have been better —
What to do except punch Gator-Ade?