Neil Best first worked at Newsday in 1982, then returned in 1985. His SportsWatch column debuted in 2005.
Jake Arrieta could not save the Cubs Sunday night, leaving them on the brink of their 107th consecutive season without a world championship.
They already have burned through their two best pitchers -- and Jacob deGrom is up next for the Mets in NLCS Game 3 on Tuesday night.
So there appears to be one, last hope for America's (Sentimental) Team as it attempts to win it all sometime before this thing drags into the 22nd century and starts to get really embarrassing:
The friendly confines of Wrigley Field, which was built in 1914, making it older than the late Shea Stadium, Citi Field and Bartolo Colon combined.
The Cubbies embraced that idea upon arriving at their home office for a workout Monday, with the place oozing its usual charm, the sun shining and the temperature 30 degrees warmer than when they left Queens 15 hours earlier.
"This is one of the best places to play, if not the best, in all of baseball when you get a packed house and they're behind you," Chris Coghlan said.
Said David Ross, "It's just nice to be home, period. We've got this nice sun out here and we'll have our home crowd [Tuesday]. Just walking into the park today, it felt good."
Even with the home team on the ropes, the old ballyard will be hopping, full of fans who are highly motivated, what with tickets on the secondary market in the astronomical range.
Nothing else seems capable of intimidating the Mets and their young roster, but maybe the scene will.
Or maybe not.
"Some of these guys have played in Wrigley before," Mets veteran Curtis Granderson said. "Noah [Syndergaard] made his debut there. Guys like [Michael] Conforto, it will be his first time there. But we've had some big games up to this point. This won't be the first one."
Granderson said it should help the young players that in this era, they are under scrutiny all the way up the development chain.
"There are a lot of eyes on them already," he said. "There might not be a lot of fans, but there's a lot of eyes."
Leaving New York can't hurt for the Cubs, who are 0-6 all-time in postseason games played in the five boroughs -- 0-2 in 1932, 0-2 in 1938 and 0-2 in 2015.
Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio played in one or both of those first two series for the Yankees -- who won the '32 and '38 World Series in sweeps.
But the Mets have Daniel Murphy, who has been doing a convincing impression of those Bronx Hall of Famers this month.
The Mets were 0-4 at Wrigley this season, but those games were played in May. They now matter as much as their 0-3 record against the Cubs at Citi Field this season before they won Saturday and Sunday nights.
"We think we can stack up with anybody," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "And with Jake going . . . ''
Oops. Let's not get too overconfident, T.C.
"They play great in Chicago," said. "It's a park built for them, so it should be a great series continued."
Well, it has been a great series for the Mets so far. The Cubs can only hope that clicking their cleats three times and saying, "There's no place like home" will make a difference on their end before it's too late.