STORM CENTER: Lovable losers no more

It has taken more than 100 years, but suffice to say the Chicago Cubs are a major league baseball powerhouse.
The Cubs have had their moments during the past several generations: The trip to the World Series in 1945, the group that reached the NLCS twice during the 1980s, and the Bartman year of 2003.
The Cubs, thanks to their fan base, have always been adorned “the lovable losers.”
That moniker also could be affixed to several other baseball clubs – including the Cubs’ World Series opponent – the Cleveland Indians.
It could also be given to the Texas Rangers. Sorry, but it’s true.
The Rangers have never won a World Series, and that includes years when the team was known as the Washington Senators.
The same could be said for the Houston Astros, who also have never claimed baseball’s biggest prize. Houston began in the early-1960s as the Colt 45’s.
For whatever reason, the state of Texas has produced top-level baseball talent – yet our state’s pro franchises have never been able to garner the World Series.
Buddy Cody O’Neal and I talked about that on Thursday evening, and we both found it to be a little coincidental, maybe even ironic, the two winning pitchers in the first two Series games are Texans.
Corey Kluber was the winner in Game One. Kluber hails from Coppell, and many St. Louis Cardinals fans remember the deal that sent him to Ohio.
Kluber was drafted by the San Diego Padres, and then dealt as part of a three-team deal involving the Indians and Cardinals.
Jake Westbrook, a pitcher, was the centerpiece of a deal that saw him traded to St. Louis and outfielder Ryan Ludwick was shipped to San Diego.
The Padres also sent Nick Greenwood to St. Louis, and the Indians paid $2.7 million of Westbrook’s remaining salary.
Kluber was seen as a throw-in back then, and he was assigned to the Indians’ Double-A affiliate the Akron (Ohio) Aeros. Well, he’s certainly no throw-in right now.
In game two, Jake Arrieta was the winning pitcher. Arrieta starred in the region for Plano East High School.
The Cincinnati Reds selected Arrieta in the 31st round of the 2004 Major League Baseball entry draft; however, he decided to attend college. Read more in the Oct. 29 Bowie News.

Editor’s Note: The Storm Center column is the expressed written views of sports editor Eric Viccaro and not The Bowie News.

Jake Arrieta won the second game of the World Series. Arrieta is a regional product from Plano who pitched for Weatherford College. (Courtesy photo)