Yes, I bought it. They won four out of six games and I was slugging Cubbie kool-aid faster than you can say HGH. Our beloved team won four out of six and two series in a row and then smoked the Astros in a wildly entertaining ballgame on Monday evening. There I sat in my chair Monday evening after the victory, smiling. For the first time in a month I put my guard down. I started rationalizing our chances. I went through the Cardinals’ injuries, the Astros’ lack of pitching, the Brewers reality that they are just the Brewers and the fact that we all know the Reds will be done by the beginning of August. Jason always warns us that we know better, but I don’t, I just don’t. I have been that last person to point fingers or call for someone’s head, but I am getting close. How does a team score two runs, TWO runs, in three games? Relying on Tony Womack’s power when you have the Great Glooroo on the mound is not good baseball strategy. Contrary to most, I believe in Dusty’s strategy of “playing all of his players dude,” but this has gone too far. It clearly has not helped Mabry, Neifi, Bynum or Blanco who are hitting .214, .192, .218, and .089 respectively. By playing only one of these guys, you are sacrificing a great deal of offense on a team that does not really have one. A good manager changes his style to cater to his players, not making his players cater to his style. This is true in all professions, whether it is pro sports or corporate America. We need a consistent lineup day in and day out:
There you go, it is that easy. In two weeks, the lineup should be:
When something is not working, you need to change your approach. Trust me, this is broke, we need to fix it. We sign a former All-Star who can play first base and he is riding the bench. I just do not get it. I want to see the same eight guys on the field 5 days day a week at the minimum. I want Pierre to be running every time he gets on base, I want Murton to be patient again, and I want Aramis Ramirez to play like Aramis Ramirez.
Neil has been stocking his fridge with crow thanks to TW’s performance this year, but I think it is time he sent some my way. Back in April I wrote that D-Lee’s injury, though seemingly devastating, would not ruin this team. I did not think one person had that much impact in a team game. Yea, I was wrong. If Banks, Williams and Santo could not win and Sandberg, Grace and Dawson could not either, Derrek Lee and Derrek Lee will probably not be successful either. I do not want to give in, I want to believe, but maybe “I should know better.”
The opening weekend sweep of the Cardinals sure seems like a long time ago. I want that feeling back just as much as you do, but at this point it appears that it may have to remain a memory for now. After the Reds demolished the Cardinals earlier in the week, I should have realized we took two out of three from a decimated team, but I did not. When we could not handle Wandy ‘friggin’ Rodriguez on Tuesday night, I should have known better. However, as the title says, I would do something like that.
The funny thing about this team is that if we take the next three games, I will be writing page after page about what to prepare for in October. That is the beauty of this game and of being a Cubs fan. We can sit here and rationalize until August, no matter what is happening on the field. The game and this team will always be beautiful to me, yes I would say something like that. We will be fooled into believing or better yet forced to believe year in and year out. Players will come and go, scandals will break and be forgotten about and JJ may even receive a well deserved applause, but I will be the constant. You are the constant, Neil is the constant, Jason and Shaun are the constants, we are all the constants, we are the Cubs Faithful, and nothing will change that. Sorry to bury you with sappiness, I sincerely apologize.
Anyway, I will leave you with the following story:
While I was playing golf Thursday afternoon on the ‘other side’ of town, I was proudly displaying my Cubs visor that I received from “Banco Popular” for being one of the first 10,000 fans at a Saturday game in May. Two gentlemen that I was paired with took pity on me as they basked in the glow of their team. One commented,
“A Cubs fan, huh?”
“Sure am,” I said, “sure am.”
“Sorry about that,” he said.
Then I was about to open my mouth and say,
“You know, the funny thing is that I am a Cubs fan every year too, not just when I feel like it, but you probably would not know anything about that.”
But I stopped myself just before I unleashed the wrath. I just left it at that, and it felt good to do because we all have to….
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!