...the world will not end until the the most unfortunate and cursed of all sports franchises, The Chicago Cubs, are about to win the World Series.
Steve Bartman (not to be confused with Bart Simpson’s alter ego “Bartman”, though he may have unwittingly channeled the mischievous eight year old cartoon character at that particular moment) didn’t realise how much of a hero he was on Monday, October 13th, 2003 (the 13th falling on a Monday is far more portentous than on a Friday as it is also, a “Monday”) when he deflected a deep fly ball to the wall hit by Luis Castillo of the Marlins thus interfering with Chicago outfielder Moises Alou being able to make a catch for an out late in a game that the Cubs were leading 3 - 0. The incident was seen as a turning point for the Cubs as when the game resumed, they gave up eight runs (led off by Castillo being walked) to lose the game, thus forcing a the series to a game 7 (which the Cubs also lost 4 - 3).
...only five outs away from ending a fifty eight year curse (see below).
Had Chicago won this game (they were up in the NL championship series 3 games - 2) it would have put them in the “Fall Classic” for the first time in more than a half century (1945). Having won their inter-league series the Yankees (who would have been their opponent in the World Series) earlier that year and knocking out the best team in the Majors (Atlanta) in the previous round of the playoffs they had a better than fair chance to win it all as both Wrigley Field and (the old) Yankee Stadium were known as “hitters parks” and Chicago pitching overall was better than Yankee pitching while hitting wise they were about even.
Ironically in the Chinese Zodiac, the following year (2004) during which they would have reigned as World Series Champions (provided of course, the world didn’t end), was the Year of the Goat (Water). The Cubs are also said to be under what is known as the “Curse of the Goat” (see link below) which is said to have started during the 1945 World Series which as mentioned above, was the last time they ever appeared in baseball’s World Championship.
The last time Chicago won a World Series was against the Detroit Tigers in 1908, also the Year of the Goat (Fire).
Unfortunately since the Mayan’s never knew of baseball, this scenario didn’t quite fit into their equations and most likely why their calendar didn’t correctly predict the ultimate end of the world. That date will never be known in advance as baseball fortunes change from season to season dependent on a host of variables such as the lack of parity and salary caps in the sport, ballpark construction bond measures, player trades, free agency, manager sackings, “juicing”, the draft, injuries, ticket prices, game day giveaways, weather, and long running curses.