CHICAGO- The play will be remembered for generations to come. In the same manner that we remember Ruth's called shot, the collapse of '69, the ball through Durham's legs, or the muffed grounder by Alex Gonzalez, people will remember Starlin Castro's errant throw as the end of the 2011 Chicago Cubs.
"It's gonna be tough to go back to work tomorrow," said die-hard Cubs fan Jeff Jenkins of Hoffman Estates. "Just to focus...it'll be rough."
Sunday's contest against the Pittsburgh Pirates saw the Cubs rally from a 2-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning on a home run by Alfonso Soriano.
However, in the ninth, tragedy struck when Carlos Marmol's save attempt was thwarted by a
leadoff walk, a basehit, and an errant throw by Castro that led to two Pittsburgh runs.
Mounted police that patrolled Wrigleyville looked to quell a celebratory fan base, but instead watched a depressed fan base depart from Wrigley Field.
"We were looking for some flipped cars," said Chicago policeman Tom O'Malley. "You know, if they win this game, they move to 2-1...and then anything's possible. 'Zona comes in...boom...before you know it you're 4-2...then you're pretty much on your way. We just came in to make sure that the series-winning celebration didn't get too far out of hand...instead, we're dealing with another season-ending loss...just crushing."
The Cubs season was nearly saved in the bottom of the 9th when an errant throw by Ronny Cedeno put runners on first and third with only one out...but a ground ball double play by Marlon Byrd ended the inning...and the season.
"We're gonna have to go back to the drawing board for 2012," stated a downtrodden Mike Quade. "It's a little bit of everything: baserunning, fielding, hitting, pitching...managing. We just have to play out the string and see what'll work for 2012. It's unfortunate it had to end this way, but, you know, such is life."
Not all will be lost from the 2011 squad, however. The Cubs organization announced late Sunday that the 2011 team will have a statue outside the ballpark.
"We have plans for a Billy Williams statue, a Hack Wilson statue, a Jeff Kunkel statue, and the 2011 team. We think we can get 39 statues by the end of next year...we actually want to make it impossible to enter the ballpark unless you have a tank...it's a security issue."
The 2011 statue will be made to look similar to the 'Soldier's Mural' outside of Soldier Field.
2012 Chicago Cubs season tickets will go on sale Monday.