Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Sunday, October 19, 2003
Here's a rare blogging event, I think, a link to a Plastic posting:
Moises Alou did a terrible thing, something had did not have to do, and never should have done. He threw his glove to the ground, and pointed at the fan. All of a sudden, you could just feel the vibe in the park turn ugly and negative. It was as if Alou had said, "You did it — you ruined it." And the fans believed it. For the rest of the inning, the entire park was screaming, "Asshole! Asshole!" People around me started talking about "the curse." People were furious. The blaming had begun. The crowd started to act as if they had been cheated. Robbed.
What happened on the field completely mirrored what was happening in the stands. For the first time all season, the Cubs started to suddenly play like victims. Poor execution. Poor fielding choices. By the end of the inning, the game was hopelessly out of hand, and the Cubs were completely helpless and adrift.
I can only imagine what would have happened if instead of creating a huge scene and inciting a near riot against the fan, Alou had simply turned around and returned to the outfield without a look or a word. I'll bet that within seconds, the players would have put the incident out of their minds, and would have gotten back to the business at hand — getting out of the 8th inning. But that wasn't to happen. What Alou did turned what could have been a minor incident into a huge deal that clearly distracted the team and probably resulted in their loss. Alou had turned on an uncontrollable fountain of hatred and anger that swamped the ballpark, the Cubs were clearly distracted and rattled by the incident and the crowd energy through the entire inning, and they lost.
In a very real sense, they deserved to lose.