Last week I watched ESPN's newest 30 for 30 documentary, Catching Hell, which tells the story of Steve Bartman. I thought the film was well done. I've seen others complain that it was too Red Sox-heavy, but I'm a big Bill Buckner fan, so I didn't mind it so much. The filmmaker even brought up the fact that Buckner was wearing a Cubs glove in 1986 (I've got more about that here.)
The movie hammered home the point that Bartman was only a scapegoat, but losing the NLCS wasn't his fault. I agree with that 100%. In my mind, if you need to blame anyone (do you if its a team game?), then put the blame on Moises Alou, for his little girl hissy fit and Alex Gonzalez for booting a routine grounder that could have ended the eighth inning.
If I'm being 100% honest, I have to admit that while Alou's tantrum is very clear in my memory, Gonzalez' error isn't. Fox showed the Alou play ad nauseam. Gonzalez' error got lost in the shuffle. For me, after the Bartman play, the whole inning became one big blur. Maybe I don't want to remember it! But in hindsight, the error was a killer.
This is Gonzalez' Donruss card from 2003.
and this is the back.
Look at what it said. Wow. If that statement held up in game six, then the Cubs would have won the NL pennant. "Flawless glove work"....no way!! "Priceless commodity for his double play ability"...are you kidding me!!!
I no longer blame Bartman, Alou, or Gonzalez for what happened in 2003. Donruss, its all on you! You lied to me and and your crazy Gonzalez statements cost the Cubs the pennant!