A mere five weeks ago, I referenced the major motion picture Major League in my recap of game number 88, a game that saw the Cubs win their fourth straight and 12th out of 16. Boy, that seems like a long, long time ago. That was, almost literally, a completely different team than we are watching now. So, with that, the Major League reference comes full circle. They’re still s#&@ty.
You all know that though. We’ve told ourselves it’s fine, we’ve sold ourselves on all of the talking points.
“We expected this!”
“Theo has a plan!”
“Rebuilding takes time!”
“We’re on the right track!”
I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. I truly believe all of the above statements. Optimism runs high. But guess what…IT STILL SUCKS! Watching your favorite teams lose 100 games (and trust me folks, 100 losses is a foregone conclusion) is not fun, no matter how long you’ve seen it coming. IT STILL SUCKS!
Today isn’t a day for dwelling on the negatives though. Nope, today was a red-letter day – one of three days remaining in the season that the Cubs were guaranteed not to lose. So, in honor of the off day we’ll push the bad thoughts aside. However, with few good thoughts to fill the void, we have only random thoughts to keep our otherwise idle minds racing:
- What’s in Castro’s contract? We learned over the weekend that Starlin Castro and the Cubs had reached an agreement on a contract extension, worth a reported $60 million over seven years. According to ESPNChicago.com’s Doug Padilla, the deal will be announced as soon as the contract is written. So…what’s taking so long? Player contracts are written all of the time. Professional sports team lawyers can write them in their sleep. Yet, this one has taken almost a week. I can only believe this is because there are some truly crazy things being included. What do we think the Castro requests are? Here are my first two guesses: 1) Castro will not sign the contract until Sammy Sosa’s boombox is restored to mint condition, 2) Starlin was jealous of the Miami Marlin’s aquarium and has demanded a salt water tank with “extremely pretty fish” installed in his locker.
- I’m mostly tired of hearing about Stephen Strasburg’s inning limit. All I know is this: imagine if the Cubs had put an arbitrary limit on Mark Prior’s innings in 2003. We would have all been robbed of a decade of complaining about Dusty Baker being called a no good, dirty pitcher-killer. (I know, the circumstances are different…Prior wasn’t coming off Tommy John surgery in 2003. Play along folks.)
- When I look at the names currently populating the Cubs’ bullpen, I can’t help but think of this scene from Major League:
Board Member 1: I’ve never heard of half of these guys and the ones I do know are way past their prime.
Charlie Donovan: Most of these guys never had a prime.
Rachel Phelps: The fact is we lost our two best players to free agency. We haven’t won a pennant in over thirty-five years, we haven’t placed higher than fourth in the last fifteen. Obviously it’s time for some changes.
Board Member 2: This guy here is dead!
Rachel Phelps: Cross him off, then!
- There are two players on the current roster that are older than me. We’re either rebuilding or I’m old. I refuse to believe that both can be true.
- In an ongoing effort to recruit more Iowa football fans, I offer you this nugget: the Hawkeyes currently have a running back named Andre Dawson.
- Breaking news from tonight: Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his Tour de France titles and banned for life. Armstrong will not appeal, saying he’s tired of fighting. Here’s what I believe; Armstrong doped. I know he passed hundreds of drug tests, but he doped. Here’s what else I believe: so did every single other high caliber person in his sport. If it is the case that 50% of major league baseball players were using PEDs during the height of the steroid era, I would surmise that 135% of professional cyclists were doping during Armstrong’s run. I’m not making a judgement one way or the other, simply stating what I believe to be true.
Friday is game day again, which by my math means we have about a 3 in 10 chance of not being disappointed by our favorite baseball team. Enjoy your weekend!