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Hold on for one more day

Sam Werner | Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The wise Wilson Phillips once sang, “Someday somebody’s gonna make you want to turn around and say goodbye / Until then baby are you going to let them hold you down and make you cry? / Don’t you know things can change? / Things’ll go your way if you hold on for one more day.”

I’m sure Chicago Cubs fans could use those words of advice right now.

Let me preface my column with this, I am a Red Sox fan. All that stands between my team and the World Series is the formerly hapless and currently ephemeral (Devil) Rays.

As a Red Sox fan, though, I feel that it is my personal responsibility to tell Cubs fans to just “hold on for one more day.” It will be worth it, I promise. One day you’ll see your players spraying each other with champagne and it will be worth those 100-plus years.

I remember just four years ago when my team hadn’t won a championship in 86 years. While not quite a century, let’s just say it had been a while. Aaron Boone, Bucky Dent, and Bill Buckner were the names that came to mind when it came to the Red Sox in the playoffs. Just like right now Cubs fans think of Steve Bartman, Leon Durham, and (the lack of) Alfonso Soriano.

After 2004, though, while those memories still hurt, they hurt a lot less with addition of Big Papi, Manny, and Josh Beckett to Boston playoff lore. Maybe those new Cubs legends are on the roster right now. Maybe Ryan Theriot will turn into a playoff stud.

The point is that a Cubs championship will happen eventually (and it probably would help if people didn’t write columns promising “an extended gloat” when the Cubs win). When the Cubs pitcher drops to his knees at Wrigley and is mobbed by his teammates, you’re going to be glad you didn’t give up hope after 2008. I’m not saying all will be forever well in Wrigleyville, but it certainly will be nice to have Mighty Joe Young off of your back.

Which brings me to the most asinine baseball argument I’ve ever heard: the idea that Cubs fans (and previously Red Sox fans) would be upset if their team won the World Series, because they would lose their “identity” as baseball fans.

I enjoyed last year’s playoffs more than I ever had before. Why? Because 86 years of failure weren’t weighing on my back.

Just know this, Cubs fans: you’re more invested now. The champagne will taste a little bit sweeter because of Alex Gonzalez and Mark DeRosa. I’ve already had my moment: When Keith Foulke flipped an Edgar Renteria ground ball to Doug Mientkiewicz. Your moment is still to come. And it will be better than anyone ever told you it would be.

“I know that there is pain / But if you hold on for one more day, you can break free from the chains.”