CHICAGO — With 108 years of misery, there's a lot of carnage on the path to a World Series championship.
But the drought is over, and with it dies a lot of pent-up blame, rage, sadness and failure.
Here's a working list of people and things who are now officially off the hook.
The 1969 Cubs: Loaded with Hall of Famers, they collapsed in September and had to live — and die — with the shame ever since. Until now. You're off the hook Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Fergie Jenkins and the whole lot. Leo Durocher included.
Leon Durham: The slugging first baseman let a ground ball go through his legs in Game 5 of the NLCS in 1984, setting the stage for the Padres to win. Leon, you're off the hook.
Alex Gonzalez: Booted a double play ball in the infamous Steve Bartman game in 2003, opening the door for the Florida Marlins to come back and eventually go to the World Series and win it all. Gonzalez's error is lost in the Bartman blame game, but some people never forget.
Steve Bartman: Cubs fans don't need a recap.
Billy Sianis' goat: Denied entry to the 1945 World Series, the goat's angry owner said the Cubs would never win again, creating the alleged Curse of the Billy Goat.
That 1969 black cat at Shea: C'mon.
Lou Piniella: The famed manager came to Chicago to win it all. He didn't, leaving a black mark on his record.
Dusty Baker: See Lou Piniella.
Brock for Broglio: Trading future Hall of Famer Lou Brock to the St. Louis Cardinals for a collection of players including Ernie Broglio in 1964 went down as one of the most lopsided trades in Major League history. But the 2013 trade of Scott Feldman to the Baltimore Orioles for Jake Arrieta dulls the pain.
Bill Buckner: He's been off the hook since the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, but Billy Buck was a longtime Cub, too. So he makes the list.
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