With the beginning of the baseball season nearly upon us, I had the hankerin' to play Dynasty League Baseball again. For those of you not familiar, it's baseball played with dice. There's cards for every player on whatever team you've chosen, so you set your lineup, send out your starting pitcher, and off you go. Each roll is checked against the numbers on the cards for the result, and each card has specifically tailored results based on the situation. A friend of mine has a ridiculous, bordering on stupid, amount of cards for this...like, every season from '96 to current, plus '84 to '94, plus Greatest Teams, plus...anyway, he's got a lot. Occasionally we'd replay playoff series--we'd each do one league's playoffs on our own, and then play the series against each other. I gave it up after being swept in the Series three years in a row (including the replay of '99, in which the Astros swept the Yankees. Ugh.)
Anyway. Like I said, I've been wanting to play again. I decided that I needed to set history right, by replaying That Game. You know the one I'm talking about. Game 6, 2003 NLCS. We checked his Big Fat Baseball Book for the lineups, and away we went. And now, the results of that matchup.
Through the first three innings, things were looking good for our boys. Derrek Lee's walk was the only baserunner they had, and Prior racked up five strikeouts. The Cubs got baserunners in scoring position in the first two innings, but they broke through in the third when Sammy Sosa hit a big two-run homer off of Carl Pavano to lead off the scoring.
That's when things started to go sour. A beanball and an error by Prior set the table for RBI singles by Lee and Jeff Conine, tying the game in the fourth. The fifth was even more of a disaster, with Miguel Cabrera knocking out a three-run homer. That closed the book on Prior, whose line score had many fives in it--innings, hits, runs, and earned runs. 6 K's, though.
With tears in their eyes, the pretend Cubbie faithful watched their team come to bat in the fifth, which featured Paul Bako hitting a double off the wall, later scoring on a Lofton grounder. The score was 5-3 after 5...and if the Cubs could just shut down the Fish, maybe they could stage a comeback.
Enter: Kyle Farnsworth.
The 6th inning started off looking a lot like the fifth, with a Lowell single followed by Conine getting plunked, and then a pass ball by Bako moved them over. Two RISP, no outs. Things might have spiraled out of control then and there...but Farny came through, as he got Other Alex Gonzeles to ground out, then struck out pinch-hitter Hollandsworth, and then Juan Pierre flied out to end the inning, with some raised blood pressure the only damage.
Bottom six: Ramirez and Gonzales singled, putting two men on with two outs. The Cubs had a chance to tie the game...but unfortunately, the bottom of their order was up. Their last gasp for the inning was Paul Bako...who promptly hit a bases-clearing double off of Tim Spooneybarger to knot the score at 5.
After Dave Veres pitched a 1-2-3 7th, the Cubs came to bat again. Inspired by Bernie Mac's "stirring" rendition of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame," Lofton and Grudzielanek both flied out to center. Then, the impossible happened: Sammy Sosa *walked.* Alou then singled, followed by a walk to Aramis Ramirez! These aren't Dusty Baker's Cubs! Bases loaded, two outs, tie game...and the Scourge of Sausages, Randall Simon steps up to the plate! He hit a ball that Pierre's glove barely missed, driving in two runs and giving the Cubs the lead! But that wasn't enough--Our Alex Gonzales followed that up with a whopping three-run homer, putting the score at 10-5! Braden Looper got the hook, but the damage was done.
That big rally took the wind out of the Marlins, as Mike Remlinger shut them down in the 8th, striking out Lee and Conine. Not wishing to take any chances, JoBoCop got the call for the ninith, and again set the Fish down three in a row. Final score: Cubs 10, Marlins 5. Veres with the win, Looper with the loss. Game MVP: Paul Bako (2-4, two doubles, 1 run scored, 2 RBI.)
Anyway. Hope you enjoyed this account of the game. It really is a lot of fun, as long as you don't lose twelve games in a row.