Hanging on a Moment

Exactly eight weeks ago to the day, I wrote a column that ‘claimed’ Derrek Lee’s injury would not cripple this team. OOPS. After three straight wins, the Cubs limped home and gave away the series. Three losses, more of the same pitiful offense and a shaky bullpen cost the Cubs any chance of gaining momentum going into Interleague play. The Cubs scored two runs off a nobody Thursday afternoon, that is all. JP stole four bases and all we can get is two runs. In the words of a famous broadcaster,

“I have seen enough to know that I have seen too much.”

I think many of us have been holding off on talking about 2007 for quite some time. I am NOT going to discuss 2007 today, but that may change in the coming weeks. The offense is horrid, disgusting, awful, pathetic, decrepit, embarrassing, well you get the picture; you have seen it as well. There is no excuse for this nonsense. Double play balls destroyed the team on Wednesday night. Maddux may have given up five runs, but that game was well within reach, but ground ball, ground ball, ground ball! Maybe we should hit and run every now and again, just a thought.

So Mr. Lee will be back soon, is that going to change everything? Who knows, I was so wrong last time, I am scared to answer my own questions now. I will say that if he returns and the Cubs are still in this thing in September, he should be the unanimous MVP. If he is not, I will call Bud Selig personally.

This article is part of the “CCO, Live from Wrigleyville” category. I have lived in the vicinity of the ball park for almost five years. I have had many friends move to Chicago and transform into Cubs fans. People from all over the country, some who used to have another favorite team and some who are new fans to this beautiful game. One of them called me today and was just upset with the Cubbies. “What is UP with this team man,” he asked. That got me to thinking about a lot of different areas because there are a lot of different issues. I really did not have a clear answer, so I left it at, “They are not good, they are just not good.”

I hung up and kept thinking about that question and then I had quite a revelation. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, the Cubs being bad was just the way it was. Everyone was reserved to the fact that the Cubs would always be the C-U-B-S’s or simply put “Completely Useless By September.” Years went by and people still went to the games, drank a beer or six and enjoyed the weather. There was not a lot of complaining in regards to the futility, it was just accepted. Even in 2002 with the season in the drain, I hoped for just ONE meaningful game in September of the folllowing season. As a Cubs fan, that is all I wanted at the time. Now I want a World Series, and that is all I will settle for in the future. No ‘five outs’ junk or ‘almost’ bologna, but an actual Trophy, I want physical proof. People are changing, desires and expectations are changing, and change is good.

I get the distinct feeling that for the first time in, well, forever maybe, Cubs fans are angry and on the verge of saying enough is enough. The fact that Bridgeport won last year has become a catalyst for this behavior as well, but the product on the field is still the most responsible party involved. People are still flocking to Wrigley, but they are no longer accepting disaster. Cubs fans are finally moving in the direction of not accepting it and saying something about it as well. We are all just hanging on right now, hanging on to a certain memory or hope or belief. Whatever it may be, it is strong, but it will not hold us up forever.

Like their fans, this team is hanging on anything it can right now and they are holding on tight. As each day ticks by and the next game is lost and there are no winning streaks and it is June 16th, there is not much time left. There are 45 days until the trade deadline, if this team does not literally CATCH ON FIRE, it could get very interesting at the end of July. I do not want to see that and I am sure many of you do not either. If it has to happen, it may be beneficial, but I would rather be rooting for my possible playoff team instead of the AA Pitcher we just got for Maddux.

There are 23 games left until the All-Star break and we are 13 games under .500. The Cubs need to win at least 15 or 16 of those games to stay in it. Without a run like that the brass may start throwing names around and a fire sale may be in the works. Though the band .38 Special tells us to “Hold on Loosely,” they definitely did not have the Cubs in mind. We are hanging on tight, so let’s hope they start producing enough moments so we can loosen our collective grip.

Thanks for reading, feel free to drop me a line at brian@chicagocubsonline.com and until next time….

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!

Quote of the Day

"A day without laughter is a day wasted." - Charlie Chaplin

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