Potential World Series Match Ironies

If the Cubs reach and win the 2016 World Series, President of baseball Operations, Theo Epstein, earns a shot at unsual record that could earn votes for Cooperstown someday.

If the Cubs reach and win the 2016 World Series, their President of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein, grabs a record that could earn him votes for Cooperstown someday.

We’ve already hit this one a side blow or two, but let’s air out the whole thing.

  1. A Re-match of the 1920 World Series Pairing: Dodgers vs. Indians.

If the Dodgers rally from their current 2-3 games won deficit to the Cubs, a Dodgers-Indians contest would re-engage the two franchises that met previously in the 1920 World Series. The Cleveland Indians. led by player-manager HOF great Tris Speaker, took their first appearance in a World Series, 5 wins to two, in 1920 over the  then located and identified Dodgers franchise that called themselves the “Brooklyn Robins” in that era. The mascot name “Robins” served as a nod of affection and allegiance to their own beloved manager, Wilbert Robinson. For the Robins and Robinson, the “Dodger franchise” was making their second unsuccessful World Series showing in five years. The Robins also lost their first trip to The Show in 1916, dropping a 4-1 World Series pairing to Boston manager Bill Carrigan, star pitcher Babe Ruth, and the rest of the deep talent bank that made up the roster of the 1916 Boston Red Sox.

  2. A New Match Between Former 2004 Red Sox 1918 Curse Breaker Leaders Epstein and Francona: Cubs vs. Indians.

A pairing of the Cubs and Indians reunites the two men who led the Boston Red Sox to their first World Series win in 2004 since 1918 and the beginning of the so-called “Curse of the Bambino” pox that fell like an iron curtain when owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees prior to the 1920 season. Theo Epstein, the wunderkind GM of the 2004 Red Sox club – and Terry Francona, the dynamic field manager of baseball wizardry that got the job done in 2004 with the talent acquired by Epstein. Now they sit in and behind opposite club dugouts.  Francona field manages the Indians; Epstein is the GM sitting behind the Cubs dugout that we see a few times close up during the Cubs’ NLCS trial with the Dodgers.

      3. A Chance for History for Theo Epstein, if the Series turns out to be Cubs over the Indians.

If the Cubs play and defeat the Indians in the 2016 World Series, Theo Epstein becomes the only baseball administrative leader in history to lead both of the most famous allegedly “cursed” MLB clubs from World Series success – first, with the Red Sox as their General Manager  in 2004 – and then with Cubs as their President of Baseball Operations in 2016. Until 2004, the Red Sox had not won a World Series since 1918. If the Cubs win this year, it will be their first World Series victory since 1908.

The Pecan Park Eagle credits Tom Hunter from Denver for this one. Tom and your TPPE guy (me) have been Internet friends for sometime, but we finally enjoyed a good old fashioned luncheon meeting today at the great Southeast End Houston old school “health food” diner – a place called Kelley’s, off the Gulf Freeway on Park Place Boulevard. Great time! Tom Hunter is every bit the baseball, UH, Original Houston guy, and bright, literate fellow I already knew him to be. Today was great fun. I haven’t had much time for lunches this summer due to some other commitments, and I really enjoyed it. Let’s do it again some time. Next time I’m in Denver, whenever that may be, I’ll give you a shout that I’m on my way. Meanwhile, thanks again for bringing a small taste of Denver fall weather with you to Houston today.

      4. A Shot at Ghost-Busting Accomplishment for Terry Francona, if the Indians defeat the Cubs.

Even if a Cleveland victory over Chicago this year only prolongs the 108-year time lapse since the Cubs’ last World Series win, Terry Francona does rate recognition for a dual accomplishment of his own, if that happens. He will have managed the 2004 Red Sox to the end of an 86-year Word Series victory drought, going back to 1918; and, if the 2016 Indians take care of business in the World Series, against either the Cubs or Dodgers, he will have ended a 68 year skein for the Indians not winning the big one that goes back to 1948.

Whatever Happens, This 2016 World Series Should Be a Lot of Fun!

As stated, it’s been 108 years for the Cubs; 68 years for the Indians; and even 28 years for the Dodgers that any of these franchises have won the World Series. Unless any of them are suffering from some kind of, as of yet, unidentified and DSMR-V classified mental disorder called “baseball anorexia”, all three of the teams should be hungry as anyone who has ever fasted all Thanksgiving Day for the treat to come, but only learned too late for any tide-me-over snacks at a relative’s house that the meal would not be served until 6:00 PM.

The Pecan Park Eagle is hungry for this World Series, no matter which NL club gets there to face Cleveland. To some of us, the World Series is still the most exciting 5 to 9 days of drama in all of sports. And, yes, we are including the two days of travel that normally space out a 2-3-2 home game format – and we can even live fine as wine with further extensions of time caused by inclimate weather. Then – whenever it does end – there are many of us who wish that it never had to end at all.

There is a partial cure for “end of the baseball season” withdrawal. It’s called SABR.


 Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas


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