"When I'm not a player now, I kid around about Destiny, I think it might mean something. But inside those clubhouses, Destiny means nothing. Pete Rose used to have destiny follow him wherever he went, because he was a great pressure player. In key situations, he always seems to have that linedrive.
Destiny hangs around teams and people that do the little things, that know how to play the game, that execute what the manager wants to be done; had they pitched well in clutch situations?
If you were a manager, would you have a meeting and say: Fellas, relax, Destiny is on our side.
No, you wouldn't do that. You don't want them to believe in that.
Destiny hangs around winning teams, and comes to all the victory parties. It's something after the fact."
I hereby quotes Mike Schmidt, the great third baseman who hit 548 homeruns solely for the Phillies. Schmidt was on the Cubs, on the day of October 4, 1989, game one of the NLCS between our Eastern Division champion and the San Francisco Giants of the West.
The starting pitcher for the Cubs was Greg Maddux. In the end, we all know what happened to the Cubs of the East.
I learned so many things from these old games, as I played through them with my MLB.com "Baseball's Best." Vin Scully did the play-by-play for NBC that night. And he talked these little things, things that any fan or expert would have ignored. But these are the stuff; where a player came from; where he's heading to.
I watched this 1989 game, then I looked back and think about that 2009 Cubs. I also watched game 7 of the 1982 World Series--the Cardinals won--and I thought about what I know about this 2009 Cards.
Before the season started, I was prepared: I expect a winning team. I like half of GM Hendry's moves. I like what the Tribune had done for the game, the ballpark, and perhaps a little slice left for the fans. But like the old saying goes: Baseball is a long season. So as winter draws on, I found myself lost.
There is no Destiny. The winning team is here, in this division. Just not the Cubs.