I’ll be honest with you.
Had The Judge not been in the baggie in Ben’s pocket at the last game, I probably would have left early.
I was at the last game of 2003, and the weird sight of the Marlins all hugging each other on the Wrigley Field infield after winning the NLCS is a memory I wish I didn’t have.
So after watching Chris Young circle the bases after his homer on the first pitch of the game, I damn near bolted.
But I didn’t.
And when it was over, we all sat there and watched the weird sight of the Diamondbacks all hugging each other on the Wrigley Field infield…
Then, it really was time to spread the judge.
The crowd was oddly quiet as they filed out and we passed them, going upstream, back into the park.
Not exactly sure about any rules, but certainly this was an odd thing to do, so we were secretive.
Ben had ingeniously put The Judge into the remaining beer in his cup, and the ruse would be he just “spilled a beer” onto the field.
“Great solution!” I almost said, but we were suddenly serious and…that was stupid anyway.
So we got to the corner seats down the right field line.
There were a couple guys in Cub jerseys still in that corner, and on the field the Andy Frain guys were standing about every 30 feet or so, keeping people from running onto the field.
I pretended I was taking Ben’s photo.
“Put your beer on the wall there, Ben.” I said.
Which he did and, after a minute, “spilled” the beer over the wall.
Suddenly somebody yelled “Hey!” behind me.
Scared the crap out of me.
“You guys want me to take your picture?”
It was one of the guys in Cub jerseys, and I don’t know why but I said something like this: “Uhh, no! We just did something secret that no one will ever know about.”
Cub Jersey Guy gets this weird look on his face and says, “Did you guys just…” and as he asks the question he pulls a baggie out of his shirt with someone’s cremated ashes in it.
“We’ve been waiting for the right time,” he whispered.
It was a head-spinning moment.
Suddenly he opens the bag and waves it like a beach towel – with real big motions as whoever that was went over the wall.
I began to laugh hysterically as the Cub Jersey guys and Ben all shook hands.
Then, we walked out.
So that’s how the 2007 Cub season ended for us, with membership into some odd secret society.
But I thought it was a nice way for The Judge to go out, and a nice burial to this year’s playoffs.
Next year will truly be a fresh start.
I can't wait.
ps: Did you see Boston last night? I thought CC Sabathia was supposed to be good. Instead, he was just fat. But Boston is a true monster of a team. The bats of Manny and Pappi and the arm of Josh Beckett are sort of insurmountable. Boston 10, Cleveland 3. Good god! They say anything can happen on the field, which is true, but maybe the Cubs dropping out of the playoffs isn't such a bad thing...this year.