Before Bartman there was Glenn Close

Yeah, I’m writing about The Natural again.
Sue me.

Remember the great scene when Roy Hobbs is in a huge slump and heads to Chicago? Glenn Close, who played his childhood sweetheart stands up in the crowd. Roy sees her, with the sun behind her creating a halo effect.
Then he hit a home run right through the clock in the centerfield fence and the Knights went on a big winning streak.
It’s a great scene in a great movie.
But it doesn’t take into account that Glenn Close was a Chicago fan who helped the Cubs lose AT Wrigley Field.

She was the Steve Bartman of The Natural!
If she sat her butt down and didn’t have her hat become a halo and remind Roy Hobbs of the promise of his youth and the purity of his natural abilities then he probably would have struck out and the Cubs would have won.
Remember The Natural takes place in 1939, a year AFTER the Cubs won the pennant. Now I grant you I can’t take the time line TOO literally. There was no team called the Knights. (I wondered if there was a team called the Giants in The Natural‘s universe.)
But if the Cubs won the pennant that year, who knows? Maybe in the The Natural‘s universe they could have won the World Series and in that parallel existence there would be no Curse of the Billy Goat.
Would Cub fans turn on Glenn Close as they turned on as they turned on Bartman?
Would some Cub fans boil a rabbit on HER stove?
Of course they shouldn’t blame HER. It was the pitcher who let up a meat ball of a pitch to Roy Hobbs!
But then again, they shouldn’t have blamed Bartman either.
Enjoy the scene from the movie…

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Jim Thome and Kenny Lofton’s post season luck

So it goes for the Twins… their post season losing streak at 12 and they have been swept out of the playoffs again.

Homefield advantage?
New ballpark?

No difference.

And it also goes for Jim Thome, who in his 20 seasons, is still in search of his first World Series ring.

His luck has been truly rotten.

He’s appeared in 9 post seasons, including 2 trips to the World Series (1995 and 1997 with Cleveland.)

He’s been in the last 3 post seasons with three different franchises.

And of course he was part of that magical Cleveland Indians squad that, for at least a few seasons, made the Indians a fun powerhouse in the late 1990s.

Among his teammates was Kenny Lofton… the only guy with WORSE luck than Thome in the post season.

Lofton, a 6 time All Star, played in 11 different post seasons with 6 different franchises.

And somehow made it through without a ring.

Lofton was part of some classic near miss teams.

Besides the 1995 squad that played the Braves so closely n the World Series…

Lofton and Thome were on the 1999 and 2001 Indians teams that won 2 games in the Division Series and had a lead at home in a potential clinching game… and lost.

Lofton, the hero of the 2002 NLCS with a walk off clinching hit, was part of the San Francisco Giants team that lost the World Series despite having a 5-0 lead in a potential clinching game.

Lofton was on the 2003 Cubs squad that blew a 3-1 NLCS lead (and gave too much grief to Steve Bartman.)

Lofton was on the 2004 Yankee squad that blew the 3-0 lead to the Red Sox. (Not sure I remember that.)

And was on the 2007 Indians squad that blew a 3-1 series lead to the Red Sox.

(Before anyone tries to correct me, Lofton and Thome were NOT teammates on the 1997 Indians team. That one season Lofton played for Atlanta before coming back to the Indians.)

So Lofton and Thome played in 8 series over 5 different post seasons as teammates.

Lofton played in 12 more series over 6 different post seasons on his own.
Thome played in 7 more series over 4 different post seasons on his own.

So if you are keeping score, over the last 16 years, 15 different post season teams had either Jim Thome or Kenny Lofton on their roster.

And somehow NONE of those teams won the World Series.

That is some bad luck.

I often wonder what guys like Thome and Lofton think about guys like Francisco Cervelli who win a World Series ring in their rookie year.

Maybe Thome and Lofton will win a ring as a coach.

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