Originally written on World Series Dreaming  |  Last updated 1/6/13
We have a bit of a lull in the sports calendar before the Cubs report to spring training in February.  Since that means we’re bored by default, it also means that we need to let out our frustrations with some random creativity in the form of thinly-disguised snark.  The Choose Your Own Cubs Adventure meme has worked a couple times before, so let’s bring it out of the mothballs again for another go before the Cubs Convention…   World Series Dreaming Publishing Presents You Are Alfonso Soriano, Cubs Outfielder   In this adventure, you control the actions of one Alfonso Soriano, overpriced-yet-hardworking outfielder for your Chicago Cubs.  It is a particularly windy day, the sun is blasting because there is surprisingly little cloud cover, and a flock of seagulls have decided to congregate near your usual camping spot out in left field because some drunken bleacher bum has tossed his nacho helmet out of the stands.  As the insolent fan is escorted out by octagenarian ushers (who are surprisingly strong and feisty for their age) under the judgmental glare of Al Yellon, master and commander of Bleed Cubbie Blue, you adjust your shades and wait for the grounds crew to clean up the mess of stale chips and saturated fat.  The seagulls squawk in protest as their bounty disappears into a garbage can that once held Todd Ricketts’ unsold hot dogs.  Finally, the game resumes and you watch as Cubs legend Casey Coleman delivers his next pitch. Gotta stretch… *CRACK*  The usually not-as-hittable Coleman has left a belt-high not-so-fastball over the heart of the plate to the opposing hitter, and you track its trajectory as it screams towards the outfield for what seems like the twentieth time today.  Luckily most of those curved foul, but this one is clearly within fair territory.  You ready your tired legs and balky knees to race after the ball and cover for your fellow outfielders.   Where is this ball going to end up? If it’s going foul well out of play and you wouldn’t be able to get to it anyway, click here. If the ball is headed towards the home bullpen, click here. If the ball is a home run, click here. If the ball is headed towards right field, click here. If the ball is headed towards center field, click here. If the ball is headed towards your area in left field, click here. Y U dive when U no have chance? Good oogly moogly, the ball is going to have to be your responsibility! Quickly you shift your knees from low gear to first and lumber after it.   Will you get there in time? If you are able to get leather on the ball, click here. If the ball drops, click here. If you have to make a dive, click here.   What the hell?! That’s a brick wall under that ivy! . You finally are able to corral the ball and notice that a runner is attempting to take an extra base.  You see your teammates in the infield quickly move into cutoff and tag positions, and prepare your still capable cannon arm despite the ever-increasing aches and pains.  The runner sees this and it becomes a war of wills.   Who’s going to win this battle of arm versus legs? If your reputation makes the runner think twice, click here. If the runner decides to test you anyway, click here. If the runner is unsure, click here.   . . . Not quite! Oh my goodness, you actually got a glove on the ball! But it hits the heel and spins around in the pocket…   What will happen to the ball? If you are able to recover, click here. If you juggle it even more, click here. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You watch the ball sail into the stands, but some idiots in the bleachers still heckle you and call you lazy for not taking some of the $18MM you’re making this year and growing wings to fly after the ball anyway. Cubs fans. Click here to continue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The runner takes a large turn around second base, but freezes when you use every fiber of your Dominican chi to will the ball into the cutoff man surprisingly quickly. He chose wisely, but you may yet get the next one who dares to test that arm. Click here to continue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You move as fast as your tired legs can take you towards the bullpen, dreading each step as your knees scream bloody murder and knowing that negotiating the bullpen mounds will be like climbing Mount Everest. As you close in on the dropping baseball, Starlin Castro swoops in and saves your bacon, increasing his range factor (YEAH) while preventing you from being booed for what isn’t exactly an easy play anyway. The bullpen catcher, a pretty cool guy, reports this event on Twitter and tags World Series Dreaming. Click here to continue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . What the hell…he’s actually running? The guy is fast, but you ready your sore body, plant the leg, pivot across your torqued-out knees, and uncork a laser to third base. The resurrected corpse of Ian Stewart receives a waist-high strike and nabs the speedy runner by half a step. He should have stayed where he was, but man was it close. Thank goodness your arms aren’t as messed up as your knees! Click here to continue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You watch the lazy fly ball drift towards right field and see David DeJesus camp right under it as Nick Schierholtz has the day off to do whatever it is Nick Schierholtz does on his day off. This should be an easy play. Suddenly, David starts racing in circles, and then points frantically towards your direction. You look up and it appears that a gust of wind has changed the course of the baseball dramatically. The baseball is gravitating towards you and you have only seconds to react! Click here to continue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This is uncanny, as if some unseen force channeling baseball magnetism was watching over you. The ball bounces off the heel of your glove into the air, drops onto the bill of your hat as you lose it in the sun, then back into the glove pocket as the umpire emphatically signals “OUT”. Awesome. Click here to continue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . There is no way to save this, as the baseball slams off the heel of your glove and off your already aching knee. To add insult to injury, the carom off the knee directs it towards your cleat, which bounces the ball towards the side wall where it bounces yet again towards the ivy. This seeing-eye baseball has extra-bases and even inside-the-park homer written all over it if you don’t hurry, assuming the official scorekeeper decides not to charge you with multiple errors on the play. Click here to continue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Good lord, what were you thinking? You are nowhere near the baseball as you make your awkward dive, and as if that wasn’t enough, you slam into the ivy-covered brick wall. The ball bounces harmlessly along the warning track as you pick yourself up. Click here to continue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The runner decides to test you with a huge turn around the bag at second, but soon he realizes his mistake as he sees you fire a laser to Starlin Castro cutting the play off. The runner is now in no-man’s land as Castro stares him down, and he freezes, hoping to juke the Cubs in an old-timey pickle. Castro sees the runner take a step towards second and fires quickly to Darwin Barney, who chases the runner back towards third. Ian Stewart takes the ball and again chases the runner back, this time flipping the ball to Tony Campana, who ran in ahead of Anthony Rizzo to receive the ball at second. Tony is in a foot race with the runner but is unable to tag him; however, the runner overslides third base, and Tony actually bounces OVER the runner into the home dugout, but not before flipping the ball back to Castro covering third. Realizing his only shot is towards home, the runner makes a break for it, but Welington Castillo is there to block his path. The runner retreats to third and Welington fires the ball back to you as you clothesline the runner for the final out of the inning. That whole pickle took about 30 seconds and that gave you enough time to ice your knees with the spilled remains of a souvenir soda from the bleachers and jog over to cover third. Casey Coleman’s ERA stays unludicrous for another inning. Click here to continue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You watch the ball parabola into left-center field, where the speedy Tony Campana is stationed. He should be in Iowa or designated for assignment, but since the alternatives need more seasoning Tony’s here. You figure he’s fast enough and competent enough to catch the ball without incident, but unfortunately, Tony seems to be all speed and no brains as he takes a poor route to the ball and dives and misses it by about twenty feet. You are backing up the play and still have a shot at the ball! Click here to continue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   Amazingly, after all that craziness, you managed to make a fine play despite looking like an unseasoned *******. The crowd gives you a Bronx cheer to simultaneously show their appreciation for the good outcome while jeering you for looking like an epilepsy victim on your route towards the ball. All in a day’s work! The End – Click to start over!
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