The nail just isn’t in the coffin, it’s been in there awhile and already rusting with post-season tears.
Well this is it. My last entry for the MLB season. I could fill it with some emotional, heartfelt, sappy verbiage about how the Cubs’ fate, yet once again ended up in a non-World Series win, not even a post-season hope all of the die-hard loving fans who, like me, will most likely (if not already) be counting the days until the season home opener in the spring. No, I’m not going to get sappy, well maybe a little bit. For now I choose to say it how it is. This season stunk. Let’s review, shall we?
1. Milton Bradley – Bad energy. Good riddence.
So much to highlight, but let’s just start with suspensions, and his completely unappreciative quotes to the media on why his playing for the Cubs wasn’t his greatest or finest moments, and I quote from the man himself on how he feels back at home compared to being in Chicago, (after a 15 – 6 loss to the Nationals in August), ”When I go home and look in the mirror, I like what I see. My family is there I have people I can talk to who are very supportive, in spite of everything and all the adversity and the hatred you face on a daily basis. But I’ll be all right. I always have.”
“I’m talking about hatred, period. I’m talking about when I go to eat at a restaurant. I’ve got to listen to the waiters badmouthing me at another table, sitting in a restaurant. That’s what I’m talking about. Everything.”
In response to this, hey BRADLEY: You signed a 3 year, $30 MILLION contract in the off-season, you make more in one year than most Cubs fans will in a lifetime. Suck it up and be appreciative that Cubs fans actually care about the game, and suck it up that well, honey…you STINK.
2. Soriano – that famous hop he does catching the ball in the outfield didn’t help him hit enough RBIs for us in the regular season. What took Paniella so long to move him down in the line up? And why wasn’t Soto moved in his place faster? That leads into the next reasoning…
3. Management – What did Lou say at the beginning of the post season last year when we actually made the playoffs “In the playoffs, everyone starts out at the same level. It doesn’t matter what you did in the regular season, all that matters is what you do in the post.” Um we didn’t do ANYTHING. Oops I stand corrected – the Cubs played their three worst games in the post season against the Dodgers compared to any regular season game. But let’s stay on track people, that was 2008. I feel like Lou takes too long to make decisions. What’s his rationale behind this? Can his management please contact me and get me a direct quote in answer to this?
4. Ownership – Should this really effect how the Cubs play? So a really prominent, wealthy (insanely wealthy) family purchased the Cubs , the Rickett family to be exact, for $900m, or so they say. Not sure if this effected the Cubs’ playing in ’09, but it was a huge news worthy happening that seemed to fuel Cubs haters everywhere. As if there weren’t enough.
5. Pitching Pitching PITCHING – Ok so in all honesty, we’ve come a long way. Marmol and Dempster certainly seemed to prove themselves this season, but it seems with pitching. Whenever the Cubs take 3 steps forward, we end up taking 4 steps back. What happened to Zambrano in the last half of the season? Is he having personal problems? He used to be our Ace. The one that could pitch until the 7th inning and keep it under control, despite his emotional connection to the game. We’ve come a long way, but we have such a long way to go.
Should I keep going with reasons? Isn’t this what we do every year? As a baseball fan, and as a Cubs fan, we always try to figure out what went wrong, where it went wrong. It’s like seeing a relationship end and you have no idea where it started to go badly, you just know you watched it spiral down into nothing but a bad ending. And with this season, I know I even speak for the Cubs ticketing office who said what I felt “we just can’t wait for this season to end.” Listen folks, I’m tired. I’m tired of making excuses or rationalizing or trying to figure out the perfect formula for the Cubs actually having a true winning season. I am pretty certain you’d have to be some MIT grad to figure out the right formula for this mess.
But…but, as you all know, I like to look at the glass half full and appreciate the good times, win or lose I have every season. Unfortunately I didn’t make it to many home games this season, my travels had me elsewhere, but of course I was there for home opener, and blogged about our amazing win, despite the rain and the cold. And I was there in September, even though the season was over for us, I enjoyed an amazing Fall day at Wrigley in the bleachers, with some of my favorite Cubs fans and friends, saluting purple heart war Veterans at the beginning of the game, and watching the Cubs, well, lose the game. But it was still brilliant. It’s still Wrigleyfield, and it’s still about the dark green ivy in the Fall, and the stands that are still, still packed for every single game. It’s still about the game of baseball, no matter what happens.
The Cubs are like a very long term relationship. In the beginning, it’s new and fresh and full of energy. But like any long-lasting relationship, comes heartache, compromise, frustration and exasperation. The great thing about a long term relationship with the Cubs is that you get a break from it. You have time to lick the wounds, curse the Cubs over a finely brewed beer in the off-season, and then laugh with your fellow Cubs fans as spring comes around and the air is fresh and last season’s heartaches have been swept from Wrigleyfield by the Chicago Winter winds. And once again, in 179+ days (ok so I don’t know the exact count right now), I’ll be back, and so will you, and you know it. And we’ll hope again, because that is what Cubs fans do, no matter what others say, no matter how they say the Cubs stink (even if they do sometimes), we’ll always be here, hoping, dreaming, waiting, along with that 95 year old Cubs fan who still believes, so why shouldn’t we?
Here’s to next season boys, but give us some time for the wounds from this season to heal, once again.
September 17th, 2009 Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers
A Cubs fan in the beginning of the season..
A Cubs fan at the end of the season..can’t we change this outcome?