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After the tornado-alert sirens stopped wailing in the Loop Monday night, we came out of the Reader basement and ran to the State and Grand subway station. The train north stopped a long time at Addison, where the platform teemed with Cubs fans heading home.
What happened? we asked a young woman who boarded our car with her dad. "Cubs lost 2-0," she said. "They called it after five." The two of them seemed pretty sure that if the game had continued the Cubs would have pulled it out -- it's been that kind of year.
About an hour and a half later, after inspecting the tree that had come down in our parkway, falling into our neighbors' front porch, I walked to the diner at the end of the block for something to eat. There was baseball on the flickering TV there. Highlights? I thought. No, it was play-by-play. The Sox? I wondered. No, it was the Cubs. They were in the seventh inning now at Wrigley, still trailing 2-0.
The game hadn't been called after all. It was held up after five -- delayed for two hours and 45 minutes, in fact. But then it resumed.
I don't think it's easy to walk out of a ball park thinking the game is over when it isn't. It takes an aggressive failure on the part of management to explain what's going on. As I said, it wasn't just those two fans. The el platform was packed.