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10-16-2003, 08:47 PM
Game 8
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Originally Posted by Oi'll say!
I never watched any of the Cubbies games, what was the whole scoop with that fans' interference?

I only saw it on tv at the gym without any volume so I know Alou would have caught it, but what was the score/inning/how many outs?

People keep talking about it like it cost them the game.

Centre of the Game 6 storm apologizes, Florida governor offers him asylum

CHICAGO -- The fan who played a key role in the Chicago Cubs' collapse in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series apologized yesterday, saying he was brokenhearted.

With the Cubs five outs from advancing to the World Series for the first time since 1945, Steve Bartman tried to grab a foul ball, preventing outfielder Moises Alou from catching it. That helped the Florida Marlins rally for an 8-3 victory to tie the NL Championship Series Tuesday night.

The Cubs lost the series in last night's Game 7, falling 9-6 to the Marlins at Wrigley Field.

"I had my eyes glued on the approaching ball the entire time and was so caught up in the moment that I did not even see Moises Alou, much less that he may have had a play," Bartman said in a statement.

"Had I thought for one second that the ball was playable or had I seen Alou approaching, I would have done whatever I could to get out of the way and give Alou a chance to make the catch."

The 26-year-old Bartman was escorted by security guards from Wrigley Field after he was threatened by angry fans and pelted with debris.

Bartman apologized to Cubs fans everywhere, adding he was "truly sorry from the bottom of this Cubs fan's broken heart.

"I ask that Cub fans everywhere redirect the negative energy that has been vented towards my family, my friends and myself into the usual positive support for our beloved team on their way to being National League champs," Bartman said.

Hours after the Marlins forced the decisive seventh game, Bartman was the talk of the town. Angry broadcasters castigated him. A local newspaper found in a web poll thousands of people blamed him for playing a role in the Cubs' loss.

Even the governor weighed in.

"Nobody can justify any kind of threat to someone who does something stupid like reach for that ball," Gov. Rod Blagojevich said.

In Florida, Gov. Jeb Bush said an offer of asylum to Bartman might be a good idea, and an oceanfront retreat in Pompano Beach offered him a free three-month stay if he needed to get out of Chicago.

Earlier in the day, neighbours and other fans had various opinions on whether Bartman should have tried to catch the ball.

"If you are a fan who's been around for a while, you just know not to interfere with a player," said Don Emond, 66, a longtime season-ticket holder who was at the game.

"I think these fans like that are sort of selfish or they don't really care about the consequences of what happened."

Bartman was described by neighbours as a youth baseball coach and such a big Cubs fan that he travelled to Arizona to see the team in spring training.

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