Monday, July 19, 2004  
House for Rent

Being a Cubs fan is like being a guy who's renting a house with some really likeable features, but it's not the greatest house. It has vaulted ceilings, a nice yard, it's in a good part of town, and he's been there so long that it feels like a part of him. But there's always something wrong with it. Sometimes he doesn't know exactly what it is -- one year it's the plumbing, another year it's roof leaks. There have been lots of plumbers and roofers and HVAC guys and landscapers and whatnot coming out and messing with the house the whole time he's lived there, and it always looks nice enough, but there's always something going wrong. He knows he can't afford a house on his own, so he's at the mercy of his landlord. There have been a couple of landlords in his time, but it seems sometimes like this last one doesn't care about the place as long as it keeps making him money. So the guy keeps living in the house, ignoring the really bad drafts in the upstairs and the creaky steps and the running toilets, because no matter who owns it, he lives in it, and that makes it his. No matter how crappy it is at times, he has grown into the house. They fit. Maybe his attitude changes over time to make the bad stuff more bearable, and maybe he adapts to the house's limitations and into its strengths. But either way, the guy can't imagine being without the damn house. As much as it drives him nuts sometimes.
Right now I'm noticing that Moises Alou is leaking (don't say it) water all over the basement, and the grass out back is as ugly as Ordonez's batting average, and there's a big hole in the wall where a shortstop ought to be, and the whole foundation's been messed up and getting worse all year. But if a couple of things go his way and the landlord fixes a couple of things, he'll have the coolest house on the block.

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