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For Cubs, 101 years and choking

There is no North American pro sports franchise that has gagged more than the Chicago Cubs, who will now have gone 101 years without winning a World Series. The Cubs lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-1, and were swept in the first round of the National League (3-0). The Cubs were only the second N.L. team since 1969 to have the best regular-season record and be swept in the first round.

In the three games, Chicago was outscored 20-6 by a Dodgers team that finished only six games above .500 and made the playoffs only because they were in the N.L. West, baseball's worst division. For Cub fans, this year's collapse will rival 1969 (when they blew a 13-game division lead and missed the playoffs); 1984 (when they blew a 2-0 series lead to San Diego and lost the last three) and 2003 (when they blew a 3-1 series lead to Florida, which won three in a row). Whether this year's sweep was the result of the Curse of the Billy Goat or the Curse of Steve Bartman or simply crappy baseball, it will be another long winter on the northside of Chicago.