The Chicago Cubs new president of baseball operations, Theo Epstein, said yesterday that he would like to bring in maligned fan Steve Bartman to allow the franchise to move forward from its crippling moment in 2003.
Bartman has been condemned by Chicago fans for interfering with a foul ball that Cubs left fielder Moises Alou was attempting to make a play on during Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series. The field umpire ruled that no interference had occurred, negating a possible out that would leave the team four outs away from a series clinching win. The Marlins instead went on to eight score runs in the inning to extend the series to a Game 7, which they inevitably won.
Since then, superstitious Cubs fans have blamed Bartman for the team failing to make the World Series. The Cubs have failed to win a postseason game since the incident, and Bartman has been ostracized from his hometown Chicago ever since. Epstein was officially announced as the president of baseball operations for the Cubs yesterday at a press conference in Chicago. He had previously served as the general manager for the Boston Red Sox for the past 10 years, where he helped the storied Boston franchise overcome their own 86-year World Series drought. The Chicago Cubs last won a World Series in 1908, and like many Red Sox fans, the Chicago faithful often claim their team is cursed.