Instead of slicking my hair back and throwing on my shades last week to do my best Bono impression, I should have grabbed a jean jacket and relived the greatness of Tawny Kitaen. You know Tawny, rolling around on the hood of that car while Whitesnake jammed late into the night. She is also famous for beating up then husband Chuck Finley when he was pitching for the Angels. Well, I use her for the music reference and not the baseball, instead of throwing U2 song titles around, maybe it should have been Whitesnake. The recent set backs of Wood and Prior do not have me thinking about a beautiful day, but instead of that reflective Whitesanke ballad, Here I Go Again…. Yesterday Jason warned us about Fan Goggles and he caught me red-handed. I was in the club that had slugged so much electric blue kool-aid I thought Woody would save game 7 of the Series and Prior would get the W. Throw the cuffs on and stick me behind bars, guilty as charged. After three years of injuries, set backs and let downs, I thought it was all behind them. Wood looked sharp and felt good, and even though Prior would be cut by most high school teams, I still thought he would regain the touch. How I dreamed of the ’03 version of Prior bringing up the rear of the rotation. Imagine that! An 18 game winner going up against Josh Fogg and Ryan Vogelsong, oh how it made me giddy. Then he threw a slew of 84 MPH fastballs, but I was still giving him the benefit of the doubt.
Then last Thursday the news came, Wood was hurt and even Piniella was trying to hide it, boy he sure learned quickly. And as soon as I heard that, I knew Prior would not be far behind. Now I know this is not breaking news or shocking news, and though I refused to remove the goggles a few days ago, now I have no choice. If two total appearances five days apart shelf Kid K, then what are back to back appearances going to do? If Prior cannot hit 90, will he really report to Iowa? Would they actually send him there? What happens if he gets shelled? You do not pay someone almost $4 million a year to pitch for the Tennessee Smokies. No offense to the Smokies, but this is not a rehab assignment.
The recent developments have shattered my pint glass leaving a blue fluid covering my kitchen floor. As I watch it flow through the cracks in my wood flooring I start to wonder what is next. I see D. Lee clutching his wrist while writhing in pain. I envision A-Ram stepping to the plate May 15 carrying a .212 batting average. I see Michael Barrett decking a Bridgeport catcher. (Well this is fun to think about) I see Ryan Dempster storming into the clubhouse after another blown game. I picture Carlos going 0-April.
As the kool-aid begins creeping under the refrigerator I wonder how Soriano will perform and whether Lilly and Marquis can keep the ball in play instead of being glorified, overpaid souvenir vendors. I hope the Big Murt develops into the player everyone thinks he is capable of becoming and I hope The Riot gets an opportunity to prove his worth. I wish nothing but the best for Rich Hill and I truly believe he will deliver. I envision Felix Pie patrolling center for the Cubs evolving into a future All-Star.
As you can see or read, my mind is in flux. I am excited, but reserved; happy, but nervous; joyous, but cautious. In 13 days, the greatest 7 words in sports will be uttered via the WGN radio waves and at that point, the predicting, pontification and pondering will be over. On April 2nd it will be up to the players and our minds will be relieved of wonder and hope and replaced with reality because that is what happens when….
“Chicago Cubs Baseball Is On the Air!”
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and until next time….
Stay Classy Cubs Fans.