The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
on entertainment and media

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Opening day: The Cubs always start the season undefeated

April 6, 2009 |  6:47 pm

When it comes to opening day of the baseball season, I'm a lot like one of those old, beaten-down Willy Loman-style producers who always call me, telling me they're just one pitch meeting away from selling their labor of love project about the guy who invented invisible ink. Except I'm selling the idea that this will be the year the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. So far, since 1908, we're 0-101 in the winning the World Series department, but hope springs eternal.

Cubbies As I mentioned when I started this blog, we care deeply about the movie business and the media world, but we care even more about our beloved Cubbies, so you'll have to put up with occasional explosions of glee or misery during the baseball season. That would be the season that started today with the Cubs in Houston, playing the Astros, where -- as I write this -- the Cubs have the lead, thanks to home runs from Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez and stellar pitching from our ace, Carlos Zambrano. The newest Cub, Milton Bradley, also made a great off-his-shoetops catch in right field which turned into a double play, eventually nabbing a runner off second base. (That fans, is a rare 9-3-6 double play.)

Every Cub fan is holding his or her breath that Bradley, who was run out of Los Angeles after two unhappy seasons with the Dodgers, can stay healthy and hold his temper -- he is surely one of the few players to go on the DL after blowing out his knee arguing with an umpire. But he gives us the left-handed bat we lacked last year, when we ended up being shut down in the playoffs by the Dodgers' tough right-handed pitching. Yes, sir, there's nothing better than having a great left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup -- and nothing worse than being convinced that you are the victim of a vast conspiracy devoted to keeping your team from acquiring a good left-handed bat.

Which brings us to our opening day baseball video clip, a brilliant mash-up from "Downfall," Oliver Hirschbiegel's absorbing 2004 German drama about the last days of the Third Reich. This clip allows us to imagine Adolf Hitler as a long-suffering Cubs fan. I can't post the clip itself, since it contains a small amount of profanity, but you can watch it right here on YouTube. It definitely captures the misery of a 101-year-long baseball curse.

UPDATE: Cubs WIN! CUBS WIN! Final score: 4-2. That means 1 down, 161 to go.Go Cubs!