Cubs looking for closure

If you are blessed enough to get a front row ticket, you have a responsibility to pay attention and curb your ball lust.

Updated: December 23, 2003, 9:41 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
Paul Sullivan has an interesting piece in today's Chicago Tribune regarding the poor unfortunate, Steve Bartman. Unless you have been living under a rock in the style of Patrick the Starfish on Spongebob Squarepants, you are aware that Bartman is the young man who interfered with the foul ball that helped lead to the Cubs undoing against the Marlins in the National League Championship Series.

The ball has been purchased at auction and will be destroyed on February 26 in an effort to a) "achieve closure on the incident" and b) "generate a good deal of publicity for the Harry Caray restaurants." The quotation marks are mine. Nobody in the camp that bought the ball was so transparent in their motivations, but why else spend 100 big Legos on a single baseball that does not contain the autograph of Napolean Lajoie and Napolean Bonaparte?

Sullivan reminds us that some people took Moises Alou to task for his emotional outburst after Bartman had intercepted the ball from his waiting mitt. Actually, I think Alou was rather restrained. Wouldn't a hotter head have climbed into the stands to demonstrate that paying attention to the game and where one is sitting is especially important during the playoffs? I know I would have, had I been blessed with enough talent to be playing leftfield for a team in the playoffs while also cursed with a crankier disposition. I would have scaled that wall using my cleats for traction in the mortar of the bricks and given him what for. Unless I was taking medication for the problem, in which case I just would have flashed Bartman the peace sign and said, "It was meant to be, baby. That was the hand of God. You go, boy."

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at