You know something special happened because Mayor Richard Daley, whose genetic makeup favors the Chicago White Sox, donned a Cubs hat yesterday to cheer on the North Side team.
Is this the Cubs year? I've consulted a number of key scientists, Cubs experts and Chicago voters still pushing up daisies for some opinions.
First, a bit of science. In years that Cubs have made the playoffs, hurricane activity in the Atlantic has been unusually low. This is because the low pressure systems that typically create the conditions for a hurricane have moved from the West Coast of Africa to just west of Lake Michigan around Addison and Clark streets. This unique atmospheric anomaly has the effect of lowering the ground temperature at Wrigley Field. So instead of the field feeling like 110 degrees with the humidity index, it only feels like 80 degrees or so. Thus, the incredible disadvantage of playing all of those day games in the Friendly Confines is neutralized. So pitchers can pitch in comfort, balls get caught and the atmosphere is less dense, meaning Cubs sluggers can pop them out with ease.
According to my climatologist friend I.M Storm, the tropical depression also brings the soothing breezes off of Lake Michigan in August and September, bringing the additional benefit of natural air conditioning. When I asked him if Global Warming would benefit the Cubs, play, his response was "of course it will." No longer will the Cubs have to battle snowflakes in April or frosty nights in September. "They will have much warmer weather at both ends of the season."
You might have also heard that legendary Chicago folk singer Steve Goodman (the author of the song "Go, Cubs, Go") had his ashes spread in the outfield. So I consulted my friend Vig R. Ro, the famous horticulturist, what this would mean for the ivy and grass conditions. "As you know, human ash contains generous amounts of phosphorous and potassium, which is generally good for the grass and even better for the ivy." In layman's terms, that means balls hit out of the infield will roll slower and are more likely to get caught in the ivy. That will enable Alfonzo Soriano to get perhaps a second more to get to the ball and employ that cannon of an arm.
There you have it. I've exhausted myself finding the best and brightest to comment on the Cubs. Of course, if the Cubs don't strand most of their baserunners, the "good" Z shows up (and doesn't loose his noodle), Lilly keeps runners off the basepads and Zo, DLee and Aramis keep hitting, things should be all right.
My dream series is that the Cubs meet the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. All of the forces of the universe might be properly aligned for this to happen. Speaking of the force, wait, I've left no stone unturned. Finally, I had to consult the expert of experts on the Cubs' chances: Mike Royko.
Mike, of course, needs no introduction. He wrote about the Cubs extensively for three different Chicago papers and never saw them win a World Series in his lifetime. Since the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist passed away more than 10 years ago, I engaged the services of spiritual medium I.C. Geist. Madame Geist, who has channeled Elvis, Jim Morrison and even Shelly Winters, made contact with the great columnist upon my request. "Mike only said one thing: keep Bartman in the upper deck."