Category Archives: Cubs

Chicago Cubs: Not This Year, After All

There’s always next year. Yep, looks like that tired refrain is going to apply to this year, too.

Let’s discuss.

For starters, I’m excited that I was able to witness the Cubs’ fourth win of the season in person last Saturday, during my third attendance of the year. (Sidenote: I am inordinately pleased that I’ve already been to three games, in April alone– I’m pretty sure that’s how many games I went to for all of last season. That’s what living in Wrigleyville does to ya!)

Behold, my various vantage points for Games 1, 2, & 3:

(Loss)

(Loss)

(WIN!)

Here’s the deal: I haven’t yet given up on Theo Epstein. This year will hopefully function as a rebuilding year, because so far, it’s not functioning as much else. I can’t help but have a little hope for a Moneyball-esque turnaround. In that situation, Beane took a bunch of nobodies (which essentially is how I consider this year’s Cubs team), got off to a terrible start, and then things finally clicked and they started winning.

This brings me to two tangents:

One: Who the heck are half of these guys? Actually, most of these guys! There’s Soriano and Byrd, who are kinda industry mainstays. Then you have Dempster, Marmol, and Soto, who are well-known to Cubs fans, but are definitely struggling this year. You have Starlin Castro, who is on track to win the opposite of a Golden Glove this year but remains my bright spot in the Cubs roster. Aside from those guys, and maybe Randy Wells, Garza, and Samardzija , who on earth are these people? Maholm, Mather, Ian Stewart, Volstad, LaHair… LaWho? I don’t even know. Ok, quick edit, looking through the 40-man roster I recognize a lot more players than I initially thought from last year, including DeWitt, Reed Johnson, James Russell, and Darwin Barney. But I still think this is kind of a random assortment of guys who don’t appear to have much chemistry on the field.

And to back that up, I present to you ERRORS. It’s pathetic the amount of errors the Cubs have made just 15-ish games into the season. I don’t actually know the stat, but I’d have to assume they’re among the worst in the league not just in record but in the amount of errors they have. In my opinion, it’s not just the number of on-the-book errors — I think their defense is just sub-par this year, and that paired with sucky closing pitching and inconsistent offense does not make for a good team. Watching Friday’s game vs. Cincinnati, the Reds just made plays so much better and efficiently and seemingly effortlessly, whereas I held my breath every time the ball went toward Starlin Castro and counted ourselves lucky when Soriano made a routine fly out catch.

Back to my original two tangents: So, in Moneyball, the A’s do eventually shape up and start winning. But, (is this a spoiler alert? Does anyone not know this already?) they didn’t end up winning the World Series. And so my question, along the lines of, ‘Better to have loved, and lost, than never to have loved at all,’ is: Is it better to get to the WS and lose, than to just not have a good season at all/have a decent season but not make the playoffs? This is probably terrible but I’d honestly rather not have my team make it to the WS if they’re not gonna win it all. It would be incredibly painful. Heck, I cry/tear up just from watching that stupid ‘Cubs Win’ MLB The Show commercial and it’s not even real. I couldn’t handle it.

Same goes for when they do win, however. I don’t even know how I will handle it, but shit, in the immortal words of Jay-Z and Kanye, WILL get cray. Guaranteed.

Things the Cubs Need:

  • Consistent offense
  • Less errors
  • Solid starting pitching (I feel like this is probably what they’re doing best, although that’s not saying too terribly much)
  • A closer (yes, I’m aware we technically have one. I just mean one that actually does his job)
  • Some wins
  • A lot of help…
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Rooftop’s a Charm

I am not normally a superstitious person. For example, I enjoy walking under ladders, regularly break mirrors, step on sidewalk cracks like nobody’s business (hey, my mom already broke her back, so no big deal), invite black cats to walk in front of me on Halloween, etc. etc. Pretty standard stuff.

However, when it comes to baseball, I am VERY superstitious. I have about 7 or 8 Cubs shirts. Why so many? Because if I wear one to a game, and they lose, I can’t ever wear it to a game again. If I wear a Cubs shirt while I’m watching on TV and they lose, I won’t wear that shirt again for weeks, especially not on game days.

I also get very upset at people for “jinxing” the Cubs. For example, if an announcer starts talking about how well Ryan Dempster has been pitching (something that an announcer would not, in fact, be saying in recent days), I’ll get mad and yell DON’T JINX HIM STOP STOP (or something along those lines), and then watch as Dempster gives up a grand slam. I’m not kidding, it happens.

If I start watching a game on TV, and they’re winning, and then they start playing badly, I feel like it has something to do with me and I’ll stop watching in the hopes the game improves.

It got to the point where I was legimately feeling guilty about going to Cubs games because they had lost the last six I attended (including the three I’ve gone to so far this year), and I firmly believed my presence had something to do with it.

Of course, I never feel guilty enough to actually turn down a Cubs game, so when my company sponsored a Cubs rooftop outing, I was there!

Here’s the view:

Not bad for a rooftop, huh? To be honest, I probably didn’t actually watch a complete inning. Heck, I probably didn’t even see five consecutive pitches. BUT, it was a cool experience, and guess what? The Cubs finally won!

Of course, it’s probably only because I wasn’t physically in Wrigley Field, so maybe I should stick to rooftops from now on…

Just Make Up Your Mind Already

Big Z has been my main man on the Cubs for the past few years, so naturally his recent threat of retirement caused me severe consternation and distress.

Oh wait, that’s what, the fourth time he’s talked about retiring after having a bad outing?

This is somewhat similar to Brett “I Didn’t Have the Best Season so I’m Retiring–Oh Wait I’m Actually Coming Out of Retirement and Playing for the Jets/Vikings/?Dolphins?” Favre, except at least Favre has a lot more consistency on the field…

Come on, Big Z. Suck it up and put on your big boy pants. Everyone has a bad outing (or season… you’re on the Cubs, for crying out loud). Walking out of a game and abandoning your teammates is not cool.

I want better for you! And so does every fantasy team that drafted you…