Anthony Rizzo was an emotional basket case, but so were a lot of us.
It was the top of the fifth inning in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, the Cubs were beating Cleveland 4 to 1, and Rizzo, leaning over catcher David Ross in the dugout, could hardly contain himself. The Cubs were closing in on their first championship in 108 years.
“I can’t control myself right now. I’m trying my best,” Rizzo told Ross, a seasoned veteran called “Grandpa.” “I’m emotional … I’m an emotional wreck.”
“It’s only gonna get worse,” Ross counseled. “Just continue to breathe.”
We all continued to breathe. The Cubs won. Happy people cried.
The Cubs haven’t won another World Series since, despite an embarrassment of once-young talent, and to this day we’re not sure why. We always figured we were watching a dynasty in the making. But we’ll leave that to the sportswriters.
Today, as three more core members of that great and thoroughly entertaining team move on, we’d just like to say farewell and thank you. You broke the Cubbie curse and that, for many of us, was winning enough.
First baseman Rizzo, a Cub since 2012, is headed to the New York Yankees. They’ll love him in that town. Third baseman Kris Bryant, a Cub since 2015, is headed to the San Francisco Giants. Shortstop Javier Baez, a Cub since 2014, is headed to the New York Mets. If New Yorkers think Broadway is fun, they haven’t seen Baez run the bases.
Except when up against the Cubs or Sox, may they all fare well.
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