Some players have IT, most do not. Some teams have IT, most do not. As John Madden famously said and as dozens have repeated since, “I do not know what IT is, but he has IT.” Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees, New England Patriots, Chicago Bulls and San Francisco 49ers, these are all examples of players or teams that had it over the past two decades. IT may be hard to define, but the drive, desire, passion and will to win are just a few of the characteristics that encompass IT. After watching 37 games thus far, this Cubs team does not have IT. Obviously the bullpen has never even heard of IT before, so that is a problem. Losing one run games, extra inning games, etc. does not define a winning team. Part of having IT is having the proverbial “killer instinct”, and this team does not have that. On Monday night, the Cubs had a runner on second with two outs in the ninth and did not score. When Reyes reached second base, many knew how the game would end. After overcoming a 5-1 deficit last Saturday, a winning team would not have turned around and given 6 runs back in the blink of an eye. (As a side-note, please stop blaming Dusty, it is clearly not his fault anymore) Nonetheless, whether it is a shaky bullpen or an inability to push a run across with the bases loaded in the sixth, the signs are everywhere, this team does not have IT and I am not sure they know where to find….it.
However, before you panic, IT is still out there and available. Many winning teams picked IT up during a season. The Patriots were 7-5 at one point during their first Super Bowl season and got waxed by the Rams earlier in the year. The Bulls of the 90’s did not have IT until they finally dethroned the eternal poor sport Isiah Thomas and the Detroit Pistons in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals. Tiger had IT when he won in Augusta in ’97, then he lost IT for a few years and now he has IT again and boy, does he have IT. With that said, it is more than plausible to think this Cubs team can find IT. Whether it is through the emergence of Ryan Theriot or the veteran leadership of Derrek Lee, this team has the faculties in place to obtain IT.
Last year’s St. Louis team was all over the map most of the season, but when the time came in October, Jeff Weaver, Jeff Suppan and the gang went and found IT. Baseball is unique in many ways, but mostly because teams can hover around .500 for the better part of a season and then take off to glory. Correct me if I am wrong, but in 2003 the Cubs were only two or three games above .500 entering September and went on to finish 88-74. Unfortunately that team did not have IT either, but you see my point. IT is attainable, IT is out there and this team must rely on Lou more than anyone else to find IT. Whether IT is the swagger we have all heard about or an unseen passion we can only hope for, IT is there for the taking.
The Cubs have only played 37 games this season, which means 125 remain. That is more than enough time to go out on the field and capture IT. Lock IT up and keep IT on board for the rest of the season. Sweet Lou has had IT before which gives this team a small advantage. Under his direction it is time for the players to go out and secure IT.
American Express used to remind everyone to “never leave home without IT.” In this case, that could not be timelier for the Cubs.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and until next time….
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!