Chicago braced for possible World Series defeat to Cleveland

Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:44pm EDT
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By Nick Carey and Timothy Mclaughlin

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chicago Cubs baseball fans braced for the possibility that their team's quest for its first World Series title in 108 years might come to an end on Sunday, as police beefed up security ahead of a game that could clinch victory for the Cleveland Indians.

At Wrigley Field, the prevailing mood among Chicago's long-suffering fans was quiet and somber after a heart-wrenching 7-2 defeat at the hands of the Indians the night before, leaving the Cubs trailing 3-1 in the best-of-seven Fall Classic.

Tempers appeared to have cooled since Saturday night, when anger erupted after Chicago's Game 4 loss. Some fans, fearing that their "Loveable Losers" may blow the best chance to win professional baseball's biggest prize since 1908, vented their frustrations by kicking seats, ripping off their Cubs shirts or tossing their blue baseball caps in trash bins.

Some even became aggressive toward an overflow crowd of journalists seated outside Wrigley's small press box, voicing loud complaints about what they described as left-leaning media bias.

"To say we were very upset last night after waiting all our lives and our parents' lives for a championship would be an understatement," said Derek Eskew, 29, as he ate lunch a few blocks from Wrigley with friends.

"Look, we may win tonight, but even if we lose, we're just going to go to Wrigley and have some fun," he said.

Chicago's manager Joe Maddon had a word of encouragement for Cubs fans before the game.

"We are at the doorstep, the precipice of winning a World Series, absolutely," he said. "I understand the angst involved with that," the veteran manager said.   Continued...

Oct 30, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Fans walk in front of Wrigley Field before game four of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports