The National League Championship Series is almost over, only 1-game left, and with the Cubs announcing Lou Piniella on Tuesday there is going to be a lot of speculation until after the World Series. The only actual news that could possibly surface would be the Cubs agreeing to a new contract with Aramis Ramirez, so as this site continues to report reliable rumors, and to speculate on the speculation, with the hiring of Piniella came all of the reminders of almost a century of futility and all of the talk about the (insert your choice of expletive here) Curse of the Cubs.
With the 20th Anniversary of the Buckner game just around the corner, ESPN ran a new story with an old twist and the most morbid way to show your team colors….are a couple of examples of how much nothingness lies ahead for your reading (dis)pleasure…. Jerry Crasnick from ESPN was on with Charley Steiner and the two spoke about the recent hiring of Piniella. Crasnick thinks that with the Cubs hiring Piniella they are sending the message that they want to win now. He went on to say that the Cubs have a tendency to overrate their talent and try to convince their fans they are going to win with what is on the field. Crasnick mentioned last seasons signing of Jacque Jones and the trade for Juan Pierre as examples. He went on to compare the Cubs to the Baltimore Orioles and said both franchises are in disarray. Crasnick also added, “If you are going to bring in a manager of this caliber you better be prepared to win.”
Rick Telander from the Chicago Sun-Times joined Charley Steiner later in the day and they of course talked about the Cubs. Telander mentioned the 98-year drought and the fact that it is the longest in all of professional sports and no team has endured the amount of futility that the Cubs have had….especially after 2004 when the Red Sox took their name off the list. They spoke about Piniella and the fact he will be the manager of the Cubs in 2008, 100 years after their last championship. Like most, neither of them figure the Cubs can win the series next year. Telander brought up his conversation with Piniella on Tuesday about the Billy Goat Curse and Piniella, according to Telander, did not know what he was talking about. He said he asked the same question to Dusty in 2002 and Dusty’s response was, “I eat Goat Soup.” (Note: Does Piniella not know about the so-called curse or is he choosing not to give it any more power?) Steiner brought up the famous quote from Jack Brickhouse, “Anybody can have a bad century.”….they both chuckled about it. Telander continued talking about the futility and mentioned that in the 80’s he had someone at the Elias Sports Bureau figure up the odds of this happening (100 years between championships) and it was 3000 to 1….then.
It had been reported here, and elsewhere, that Piniella is the Cubs’ 48th manager but he is actually number 50 and according to Telander he is the 38th since 1945. He said that Piniella better enjoy the honeymoon. The two talked about why Hendry did not hire Joe Girardi and according to Telander it was because of Hendry’s relationship with Marlins’ GM Larry Beinfest. He said that the Cubs love Bruce Bochy but because Bochy’s name does not “carry any weight” that the media in Chicago would have destroyed Hendry. Telander referred to Andy MacPhail as “MacFailed” and stated that the Cubs destroyed him like a virus and the Cubs have a failure associated with them. He brought up the infamous “Cubs Factor” and mentioned that Piniella does not understand “Cubness”. They both agreed that the hiring of Piniella is just another “band-aid” and the organization is missing the boat. They discussed the fact the Cubs do not have a minor league system and the Cubs must go back to square one and rebuild the entire organization. According to Telander, Andy MacPhail went out saying ‘you beat me’ and a previous winner could not even win with the Cubs.
ESPN.com ran an article about the possibility of a ‘double curse’ existing for Bill Buckner back in 1986. The article points out the fact that Buckner was wearing a ‘Cubs batting glove’ under his fielding glove on that night. Take a look, here is the link, believe what you want.
A Cubs’ Fan Last Wish?
From the land of the morbid or just plain bizarre, several Major League teams have a new marketing deal with a company called Eternal Images. The Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Phillies, Dodgers and, of course, the Cubs are teams that you can have their logo stamped on a coffin or an urn, if you so desire. The message will say, “Major League Baseball officially recognizes the deceased as a lifelong fan of (insert your team here).” Is there any other strange last requests or tattoos that anyone would like to share?
Also, can someone please tell Tony LaRussa that he is trying to get to the World Series of Baseball, not the World Series of Poker….time to lose the shades, buddy. Corey Hart was never cool, despite what all of those infomercials try to tell us.
Remember, you were warned….