Two hundred fourteen round white diamonds. Thirty-three genuine red rubies. Forty-six genuine blue sapphires. Throw in some princess-cut diamonds, a fire-blue corundum stone, something called a bezel (it’s all Greek to me) and countless other features, and there’s zero doubt about it: A Cubs 2016 World Series championship ring is as extravagant as it is huge.
Would Steve Bartman be wrong if he got his fitted for his middle finger?
There might be someone in a Tibetan cave who didn’t hear Monday about the Cubs’ decision to bestow a World Series ring upon Bartman, who remains infamous for being in the wrong seat at the wrong time during Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs could’ve made the gesture quietly, in accordance with Bartman’s wishes to remain out of the public eye, but what would’ve been the fun in that? Instead, they tooted their own horn loudly enough that their magnanimity — coupled with Bartman’s graciousness — became the feel-good story it was designed to be.
And that’s fine. In all, it’s quite nice. The best part is that it truly means something to Bartman, now 40, who said in a statement that he was ‘‘deeply moved and sincerely grateful.’’
It’s wonderful that Bartman has a ring. And it’s just as wonderful that certain people don’t.
Like the jerks who called him nasty names, threatened him and posted his home address and place of work on message boards in the wake of the crushing NLCS defeat against the Marlins.
Like then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who boorishly kicked Bartman when he was down, saying he’d never ‘‘pardon’’ the man and joking about putting him in witness protection.
Like all those who tried to cash in on a humble, regretful, seemingly good-hearted guy’s bad luck, whether by blowing up the ‘‘Bartman ball’’ at a restaurant or by trying to persuade him to play the role of witless fool in a commercial.
What does it say about Bartman that he has turned down every offer to sign his name, appear in an ad or share his story with a reporter? Well, for one thing, it suggests he doesn’t have the greatest sense of humor in the world. Mostly, though, it says he’s made of a lot of the right stuff.
That’s more than can be said for all the glory-days ninnies who are so certain that — because they once hit .310 and made honorable-mention all-conference in high school — they wouldn’t have reached into the October night for the same foul ball that bounced off Bartman’s hands instead of maybe, just maybe, landing in Moises Alou’s glove. I know what I would’ve done in that situation: followed the flight of the ball all the way. The next fan who sees a ball coming straight at him and turns his head to find an outfielder will be the first.
They don’t have rings, either. But — heck, yes — Bartman does.
‘‘I humbly receive the ring not only as a symbol of one of the most historic achievements in sports,’’ Bartman said, ‘‘but as an important reminder for how we should treat each other in today’s society. My hope is that we can all learn from my experience to view sports as entertainment and prevent harsh scapegoating and to challenge the media and opportunistic profiteers to conduct business ethically by respecting personal privacy rights and not exploit any individual.’’
Probably not the response some would want. It would be more of a spectacle if Bartman were to throw out a first pitch, make a funny video with Alou or detonate his headphones and green turtleneck at Harry Caray’s. But that’s not the man’s style.
My move? A glittering ring and a middle finger come to mind. But that’s not Bartman’s style, either.
And now it’s time to leave this good egg alone, once and for all.
Follow me on Twitter @SLGreenberg.