Esteemed reader Chad sends in an idea for a little off-day procrastination.... -------- I sent in a definition to Urban Dictionary of the word Cubbery:
To lose a game (or play so poorly) in such a strange manner that only the Cubs could do, that one can only sit in amazement.
The examples cited were: Wow, my team just walked six straight batters then threw a wild pitch to blow a three run lead, then gave up a grand slam to lose. That is some real Cubbery! Or: That team's Cubbery stopped them from scoring a run even though they had the bases loaded with no outs. The examples of Cubbery through the years are plentiful, a meltdown in the Big Apple being the most noticeable event this year.  So go at it, what are some of the most Cubbery moments in your lifetime?


Cubbery: the team and events that lead to the loss to the Phillies, when closer LaTroy Hawkins fielded an infield grounder and hit baserunner Jose Offerman in the helmet, with the ball going into the stands and scoring the lead runs. Final Phils 3 Cubs 2.

truly a great moment in Cubbery history...

just picking up low hanging fruit...
"Oh no, he dropped the ball..." Santo
In the bottom of the ninth, the Cubs were clinging to a two run lead against the Brewers. Milwaukee loaded the bases but with two out, reliever and ex-Giant Rod Beck coaxed a fly ball that arced out to left field.
The ball landed right on Brant Brown's glove, drawing cheers from the Chicago fans. But the shouts of joy quickly turned to gasps as the ball dropped to the ground, possibly taking the Cubs' playoff hopes right along with it. (note: they did go to the playoffs in 1998, thanks to then Rockie Neifi Perez' HR on the last day of the season)

That same series when Michael Barrett botched a 9th inning rundown allowing the tieing run to score. Along with the Fightin Phils winning in extras was an excellent example of Cubbery.

Absolutely no question it was this one:

box score

This game actually caused me to be institutionalized for several months afterward, and it's why I drool today.

What was especially noteworthy about this game was that it was the largest blown lead in an extra inning game in big league history up until that point in time, and not only that, but the Cubs somehow managed to blow not one--but two--five-run leads in the same game.

The bottom of the 11th was played in a steady drizzle and took forever.

For those of you who end up in Hell after you die, you will be required to watch this game over and over again. Once was enough for me.

Can Cubbery also include just perplexing plays? For instance, when Aramis Ramirez (normally a good fielder) played a high, lazy pop fly off his head last year?

August and September 1960, and last year's Neifi! 2-out, bottom of the ninth, bases loaded bunt to the pitcher.

You've given me the defintion, and I'm choosing to go in a different direction with it. Now maybe I'm missing the exact point of this exercise, but here we go:

Cubbery - Anything of, or pertaining to, that other Cubs blog, in and/or of itself, or also including it's author.

While expectations are high, many boneheaded mistakes and underwhleming production in multiple facets lead to horrible inexecution and general failure for everyone to mock.

plays can also be included under the Cubbery umbrella...

The Barrett botched rundown was in August in Philly in the middle of an 8-game losing streak. (if we're talking about the same play). Same year, different series...

bob hendley loses 1-hitter vs koufax perfect game, score 1-0.

only a cub could do this.

Individual plays are 100% covered by this definition.

Cedeno oversliding second base....on a walk

How about this game earlier in the year, on 4/20? You could almost argue the Cubs played the game under the spirit of 4/20...

Cedeno gets thrown out trying to steal second base in the 9th inning when he overslides the bag, Mark DeRosa thrown out running to first in the first inning because he misses first base.

do I have to do it?

NLCS Game 6, 2003.....

I hate every single player, coach and fan involved in that game.

this was always a favorite of mine from last year...Neifi's double-error that allowed M. Giles to score the winning run from second on a sac fly...

The last century has to be the ultimate example of Cubbery. Each of the examples above is an amazing story unto its own, but the sum total is staggering. What is more amazing is that Cubbery fact is way stranger than fiction. You couldn't make that stuff up. Imagine Gabriel García Márquez writing "One Hundred Years of Ineptitude" instead of "One Hundred Years of Solitude," and you still wouldn't have a story as odd as real life Cubbery.

1984 NLCS

Is calling the booth to complain about the announcers a Cubbish-league manuever? Sort of along the lines of Bush league. Yet involving the cubs?

Great guys its bad enough being a Cub fan and having to endure the hazing and ribbing by other teams baseball fans now we have to take this from our very own.

Put me down for for the 1984 NLCS Cubs team up 2-0 and eventually losing to the Padres 3-2.

At least we have this going for us. Our announcers put it to the cardinals franchise. Literally!

From Harry Caray's winkipedia:

In 1969, however, after the Cardinals had won back-to-back National League pennants and the 1967 World Series against the Boston Red Sox, Caray was unexpectedly fired as the Cardinals' lead broadcaster. Golenbock and other Cardinal historians have suggested the cause was a purported affair Caray had with the daughter-in-law of Cardinals owner August Busch, Jr. (who also owned Anheuser-Busch brewery, the club's owner and broadcast sponsor); Caray first called it a business grudge while never necessarily denying or affirming the rumours.

Whats the difference between the term Cubbery and the Curse?


Everyone knows he couldn't care less about the girl--he just wanted unlimited access to free product.

Whats the difference between the term Cubbery and the Curse?

The curse doesn't exist, and Cubbery does?

I hate to pile on, but the Micheal Barrett 'dropped third strike walk off botched rundown' manuver vs. the Phillies (8/3/2005) is difficult for me to forget.

Oh, another thing, in 1984 we lead, at some point, in all five games.

Hey, I'm kind of a young guy (was born just soon enough before the 1984 NLCS to not be able to remember it personally), but I'd be interested to hear from others what kind of Cubbery went on in the earlier days. We all know about the awful plays they've made in the last half-decade or so, but what were Cubs games like in the 1960s and 1970s? Did people like Bobby Dernier or Adolfo Philips make dumb plays to lose ballgames? Were indescribable injuries happening to the team back then?

Cubbery should have its own website - when its all said and done something tells me there will be a lot of Cubbery moments to draw upon. I am also thinking of Cubbery trades e.g. Lou Brock. Cubbery players - there are plenty of Cubs to put together an all-stiffs team.

(I'd also like to follow up my last post by noting the strange phenomenon of being burdened and psychologically affected by years like 1984 and 1969 without having lived through them. It's like once you become a Cubs fan, you tap into and just sort of acquire this reflexive pain brought on by the mention of those years.)

Biitner losing a ball under his hat.

I was at the Biittner game!!!!

He threw us a couple of baseballs during batting

What a bad team...

Virtually every day is Cubbery Day.

The rare exceptions cause rounds of unaccounted for giddiness and occasional friendliness among Cubs fans.

Oh, and let's not forget all the times opposing players "lost" baseballs in the Cubbery Shrubbery on the outfield walls, thus effectively holding us to doubles...

"Cubbery Shrubbery!" Nice.

The Sniglet for those vines is "Cubbage." But I like yours better.

are Michael Barrett and Neifi the incarnactions of Cubbery? Like Anakin was a Jedi made up by metachlorines or whatever that crazy-ass story line was about?

Sheffield/Cornelia — August 13, 2007 @ 2:11 pm
Hey, I’m kind of a young guy (was born just soon enough before the 1984 NLCS to not be able to remember it personally), but I’d be interested to hear from others what kind of Cubbery went on in the earlier days. We all know about the awful plays they’ve made in the last half-decade or so, but what were Cubs games like in the 1960s and 1970s? Did people like Bobby Dernier or Adolfo Philips make dumb plays to lose ballgames? Were indescribable injuries happening to the team back then?




This was the first game in 1969 where the unthinkable happened (it would happen several more times later in the year) and I began to think that maybe things weren't going to turn out too well.

The Cubs had just lost a Sunday July DH at St. Louis the day before, and were in NY playing a Monday afternoon game versus the Mets at Shea.

Cubs ace Ferguson Jenkins was pitching a great game (a freakin' ONE-HITTER!), and the Cubs were up 3-1 going into the bottom of the 9th. The Mets had good pitching but no hitting, and with Fergie on the mound leading 3-1, it was a LOCK. The Cubs couldn't lose.

This was the game where Cubs CF Don Young (who was playing ONLY because of his defense) dropped a fly ball on the warning track (it was scored a hit, but it was an error), and the Mets went on to score three runs in the bottom of the 9th and the Cubs lost 4-3.

JACK BRICKHOUSE: "Back, back, and it's CAUGHT!!!!... AND DROPPED!!!!... by Young...

Ron Santo blew his cool and blasted Young after the game while talking to reporters, and Young left the clubhouse in tears. After this is when I remember Santo started to get booed by Cubs fans.

box score



What other team could come back from a 12-run 5th inning deficit, somehow manage to tie the game, and then lose in extra innings?

box score



The Cubs had the best regular season record in the National League in 1984, the Cy Young winner (Rick Sutcliffe), the MVP (Ryne Sandberg), the Manager of the Year (Jim Frey), and the Executive of the Year (Dallas Green),

It was the N. L. East Champion's turn to get the extra game at home in the '84 NLCS, but because there weren't any lights at Wrigley Field, ABC-TV insisted that the first two games of the five-game series be played in Chicago, and the final three gamnes be played in San Diego. The Cubs protested, but to no avail.

The Cubs won the first two games at Wrigley easily, and it was only a matter of winning one of three in SD and the Cubs would have their long-awaited rematch versus the Detroit Tigers in the 1984 World Series.

So the Cubs (naturally) lost all three games in San Diego, including the final one on Sunday afternoon--with Cy Young winner Sutcliffe (who had won 16 out of 17 games during the regular season and the first game of the NLCS)-- pitching on normal four-days rest.

This was game where Leon Durham made an error on a ground ball where he supposedly couldn't open his glove because it was sticky after MVP Sandberg had accidentally spilled Gatorade on it in the dugout.



See comment #5 (above)



The Steve Bartman game in the 2003 NLCS

Never having heard the comments Santo made to reporters after the Don Young game, AZ Phil, can I guess at what he said?

"Gawd...geez! I mean--gosh! Mmmmm-AN!"

This is very vague-
I think it was a double header against the Pirates in 2004-05 in Pittsburgh.

Cubs blew a twilight doulbe header to Pirates with Hawkins blowing both games(?). I know he blew one definitely with a walkoff homerun to Oak Lawn' s own Rob Macoviach.

Cubs were a good team, and Pittsburgh was very bad team.

Found it-
It wasn't Latroy's fault!!
My apologies to the Hawkins Family

May 28, 2004- Cubs lose double header to Pirates

game 1 -Mackowiack walk off grandslam off of Jo Bo
game 2- Craig Wilson walk off hr of Beltran

AZ Phil # 5

Absolutely no question it was this one:

This game actually caused me to be institutionalized for several months afterward, and it’s why I drool today.
I just got sick just looking at the box score...

Juan Encarnacion vs Tony LaRussa...guess who's gonna win this one?
Says La Russa treated him "kind of unprofessional."

Favorite example of Cubbery:;_ylt=Aru...
It seemed like no one could score. I remember someone calling it "offensive constipation". It was one of those games that the Cub's should have won, but the lineup hacked at absofuckinglutely everything. It left me wondering how the Cub's were any better than the Expos.

This game

Scoreless game against the Cardinals in the 9th. Runners on 1st and 3rd, one out. Ground ball to first.

Billy Williams throws the ball home to get the man trying to score. The runner is in a rundown. Catcher throws the ball to third as the runner starts to go back toward third base.

Runner promptly reverses direction and scores across an uncovered home plate.

Cubs lose 1 - 0.

How in the world did that 2004 cubs team not make the playoffs? Look at that lineup and compare with the current version.

AZ PHIL: "This was the game where Cubs CF Don Young (who was playing ONLY because of his defense) dropped a fly ball..."

DAMN YOU! You beat me to it! And, we're dinosaurs to remember!

CUBBERY: When, even after a questionable fan interference call, a shortstop bobbles a potentially inning-ending DP, wherein eight runs from the opponent crosses the plate in the same inning.

Don Young = Angel Pagan, slowed down?

Adam Greenberg makes an appearance....

There are so many best moments of 60's/70's Cubbery, I'll just add the following:

- Leo Durocher missing a home game during the '69 pennant race to be with his girlfriend at a vacation home in Michigan (and didn't tell anybody);

- the Cubs losing a crucial night game to the hated Mets on a blown call at home plate in NYC (that was the game with the black cat thrown onto the field);

- George Mitterwald, your starting catcher;

- Pitcher Paul Reuschel, the fatter and untalented version of his brother Rick;

- Jose Cardenal, who had a problem getting his eyelids unstuck after spending a sleepless night in his hotel room during ST with a bunch of crickets;

- Bill North, Burt Hooten, Ken Holtzman and Bill Madlock all getting traded away and starring for other teams in the playoffs;

- the Cubs lose to the Phillies at Wrigley, 22 - 21 - losing the game in the 9th on a Mike Schmidt home run.

My God, Dusty Baylor, how do you remember that?

cubbery...what about the game, I think in '95, when Randy Meyers gave up a home run late in a game and a fan ran up to take him on and Randy took him down. That's cubbery - when the whole nation gets a chance to see how spectacular we can embarass ourselves! :)

Or the Farns shenanigans with fans (literal).

Something that sticks out in my mind is in 1999, where we had a 3 game span where we gave up 54 runs (75 in 5 games)
June 29 L 17-6
June 30 W 5-4

July 1 L 19-12
July 2 L 41-1
July 3 L 21-8

It was so bad, Gary Gaetti got to pitch.

And who could forget the 14 game losing streak to start the 1997 season to setting the NL record?

December, 2000:

Chicago Cubs sign catcher Todd Hundley to four-year, $23.5 million deal ...

Building on Vegas Brian's post, how about 1991 when the best pitcher on the team was Doug Dascenzo?

(And we only had one starter with an ERA under 4, before the juiced-ball/juiced-player days...guess who?)

July 2 L 41-1

Don't scare me like that... For a second I thought I couldn't be a real Cub fan if I didn't remember a forty-one run clubbing.

Scoring 10 runs on opening day of 1965 and only coming out of it with a tie.

1969 - Giving up home runs on successive days to super light hitting Met infielder Al Weis (the games were in mid July and they were his first and second homers of the season) as the Cubs dropped two of three to the Mets at Wrigley Field.

For as long as I can remember - the Cubs, no matter the lineup, being shut down by almost any pitcher they have never faced.

1839, Cooperstown:

Abner Cubbleday invents the play wherein two fielders chase after a popup and collide as the ball lands harmlessly on the grass nearby.

July 2 L 41-1

Don’t scare me like that… For a second I thought I couldn’t be a real Cub fan if I didn’t remember a forty-one run clubbing.
My bad--that should be a 14-1 clubbing.

Speaking of Grand Slams to lose, I remember this game: Klesko GS in the bottom of the 8th to beat us 4-3

May 17, 1979 at Wrigley Field

Cubs vs Phillies

Cubs score 22 runs and lose.

You know, after reading all of these...I'm surprised I don't have a drinking problem...

OK, enough, enough.

This is too much bad energy.

At the risk of being called an optimistic--for the first time ever--why don't we have a thread of great Cubbie moments.

I'll go first...

Karros' HR v. the Yanks denying Clemens his 300th W was a fine moment.

you need a catchy term first CT_Steve....

Is it cubbery when the doctors tell Aramis Ramirez he hurt his wrist by swinging too hard and his answer is, "but that's the way I always swing."


I'm not your monkey...

you need a catchy term first CT_Steve….



Hawkins was involved in that Pirates game he gave the game tier in the nigt cap to Mackovwiak. The best example of Cubbery in that season had to be the game in September at Wrigley v. Reds that Prior struck out like 12-15 reds and gives up 3 hits and we lose 2-1 in extras because Dusty pitched to Valentin when Stoney said he should have walked him that caused the Broadcaster's War of 2004.

Wakefield with a you-know-what through 5 against the Drays...

why don’t we have a thread of great Cubbie moments.

The playoff clinching game in '07 was a good moment.

Oh, wait.. that hasn't happened yet.

*This was game where Leon Durham made an error on a ground ball where he supposedly couldn’t open his glove because it was sticky after MVP Sandberg had accidentally spilled Gatorade on it in the dugout.*

I've never quite bought that excuse. Gatorade has never seemed "sticky" to me.

Anyway, the best example of 90s Cubbery was that shit team that lost like, 13 games to open the season and effectively doom it in the first two weeks. Fookin' classic.

Yep, I'd agree about the 1984 NLCS - while game 5 was heartbreaking, I tend to remember Game 4, when Steve Garvey ran around the bases with his arm up in the air. As I watched from my uncle's trailer, I felt like chucking his quart of Old Mil out the window.

2004 - losing to absolutely shitty teams down the stretch didn't help. I vaguely remember one of the last Saturday's of the season and blowing a game to the Mets (?), who were God-awful at the time.

Cubbery indeed.

My first Cubs game in 1959, against the Milwaukee Braves. I don't remember any particularly bone-headed plays, but Warren Spahn was pitching; even at the age of seven, I could see that the Cubs didn't have a prayer - it was like watching a cat toy with a mouse. It hasn't gotten any better since then.

AZ Phil, I recall that Jerome Holtzman suggested playing the first two games in Chicago in 1984. The television contract required at least three night games. If that compromise hadn't been found, then the league would have moved the Cubs' home games to the nearest National League ballpark with lights, which in those days was St Louis. In retrospect, I don't see how that could have been a worse disaster than what actually occurred, but we didn't see it that way at the time. I will hate Steve Garvey till the day I die.

"Cubs score 22 runs and lose."

Uh, yeah - I already posted that game.

Gatorade has never seemed “sticky” to me.

Gatorade is definitely sticky - not sure that I buy the argument, but Gatorade is sticky.


I don't know, I think this is sort of cathartic. Maybe, after venting about 40 years of disappointing moments, we'll have exhausted much of the bad energy, and send fewer vibes of fear and dread to Dempster with a one-run lead and a man on in the ninth.

As for a term for great Cubbie moments: Incubceivable, Cubtastic, Cubtivating?

Incubceivable... ha!


I remember the 89 playoffs when it was like a hitting war between Grace and Will Clark, but Clark always seemed to get the better in the end. Without question though for me, the worst moment ever as a Cub fan was the Bartman game. Every Cubs fan I've ever talked to about this game just KNEW the Cubs were finished when Bartman caught that ball. As improbable as it seemed at the time, we just had a "feeling" that we were doomed. I remember the Durham play also....pretty close.

July 28, 2002. My grandmother had just gone into hospice. Up 9-4 going into the bottom of the ninth and lose on an Edgar Renteria (hate him too) three run home run. I got up out of my parents house and took a long walk. The only time I have ever done that and haven't since either.

How about He Sop Choi vs Kerry Wood. Dont thin Choi Ever recovered from that hit!!!

and who can forget the Lee Elia on that fateful day in 1983. I think he knew about Cubbery way back then.

Last year had many abysmal moments, but this example of Cubbery was truly excruciating to watch.
Two grand slams and a two run shot in one 11 run inning...8 unearned...after jumping out to a 5-0 lead. Man oh man...

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  • Attaboy!

    billybucks 19 min 33 sec ago view
  • First Cub victory at home this year for me!
    Saw all four starters this year

    jacos 1 hour 43 min ago view
  • RIP Arnie. We could use a lot more like you -- a man who succeeded and failed on his own terms, a true original, and, finally, a remarkable example of graciousness towards others.

    billybucks 9 hours 38 min ago view
  • Cubs finish 33 over at home. I was, personally, one game over at 3-2, which was one of my better years in a while.

    I do hope that's the last time we see the Cardinals this year. A lot of power, which is dangerous, particularly in a short series, and they have really shut down KB all year.

    Oh, and Jon Lester? Damn!

    billybucks 9 hours 50 min ago view
  • Yes. Boating accident at 3AM. Very sad, but stupid. Young men do stupid things.

    billybucks 10 hours 46 min ago view
  • lester puts 2 on and is taken out at 96 pitches. oh well.

    edwards in.

    crunch 11 hours 30 min ago view
  • 2 out in the 7th, lester at 84 pitches, ross taken out for the standing O.

    it's possible contreras will catch lester for another inning+.

    crunch 11 hours 36 min ago view
  • What a weird day.  Jose Fernandez and Arnold Palmer, but then Scully and, on a much more modest level, Ross....

    Transmission 12 hours 10 min ago view
  • d.ross gets his 2nd standing O on the night (last home game of the season)...hits HR #10...curtain call. baseball.

    crunch 12 hours 12 min ago view
  • as a fan, he only "owes" us the game on the field and not getting in the way of others on his team being ready to play (imo).

    it's exponentially worse to his family and friends, but this dude most likely had 15+ years of play left and even though he just turned 24 a couple months ago he had already established himself as a top guy in the game.

    crunch 15 hours 34 min ago view
  • Carrie Muskat [email protected]

    Updated #Cubs probs vs Pirates: Mon, Hendricks vs Kuhl; Tue, Lackey vs Vogelsong; Wed, Arrieta vs Taillon; Thu, Zastryzny vs Nova

    crunch 15 hours 57 min ago view
  • I know what you're trying to say, Charlie, that none of us feels what his loved ones must be feeling.

    On the other hand, what makes a death like this tragic is precisely the loss, based on Fernandez's youth and brilliance, to the baseball world.

    So, for example, we can say that Princess Diana's death meant more, in aggregate, to millions of admirers who didn't know her personally than to her loved ones.

    VirginiaPhil 15 hours 58 min ago view
  • boston pitching snags a couple of mlb team records...

    "Over nine innings of play, Boston's staff struck out 11 straight Tampa Bay Rays hitters Sunday, breaking the major-league record for most consecutive strikeouts in a game.

    The previous record was held by former New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver, who struck out 10 straight hitters in 1970.

    Not only that, but with a strikeout to end the ninth, sending the game into extras, Boston's staff also struck out an MLB-record 21 batters over nine innings."

    crunch 16 hours 22 min ago view
  • What a loss to baseball, which I'm sure pales in comparison to the personal loss to his loved ones.

    Charlie 18 hours 6 min ago view
  • Somehow I am sensing alcohol was involved. The highest number of boating accidents by a wide margin...

    The E-Man 18 hours 50 min ago view
  • crunch 20 hours 32 min ago view