It's That Time of the Season Again, Cubs Fans
It's happened before, it's happening now, and it sure as hell will happen again.
Almost every season, there's a period of time when the Chicago Cubs hit some struggles. When this period of time outlasts a week or two, just as sure of a thing as the sun rising in the morning, many Cubs fans dismiss the season as a failure.
Maybe it comes with the territory. Supporting a team that hasn't won the World Series in over 100 years leaves reason to understand if some of the supporters give up on the team rather easily.
It seems like I have a couple friends and people I know who every season at some point sell off the Cubs season far too early, and this season is no exception.
Sure going into this season expectations for the Cubs may have been higher than any other season in the recent past. So listening to commentators and broadcasters giving up on the Cubs as they float around the .500 zone really isn't too surprising.
Things aren't going well for the "Lovable Losers." The bullpen has never looked so disgusting and the offense is about as consistent as Milton Bradley's health.
But I, for one, am nowhere near considering giving up on the Cubbies quite yet.
So far this season, the one positive outlook on things seems to be that the team as a whole usually doesn't play poorly all at the same time.
Of course this isn't a good thing, but a way to look at the team in a way to think that they definitely have the potential to live up to the media's original expectations for this '09 season.
If I had to predict one thing that will uplift this team, jump-start the offense, and send this team back towards regaining respect and consideration as World Series contenders, I would pinpoint it to one thing, two words: Aramis Ramirez.
As the old saying goes, you never realize what you have until you lose it. Ramirez has always been there consistently for Cubs fans. Driving in 100 runs every year and batting around the .300 level.
He's often overlooked and shadowed by guys like Carlos Zambrano, Derrek Lee, and Alfonso Soriano. But he'd be my choice for the face of the Cubs as far as consistency goes for the past couple of seasons.
There is no player I miss more at this point, aside from maybe the '08 Kerry Wood, than Aramis Ramirez.
Having that kind of threat in the lineup surrounded by guys like Soriano, Theriot, Lee, and yes I'll say it, Milton Bradley, significantly changes the look of this offense.
Who would have thought with Fukudome playing at the level of the first half version of himself from '08 plus the compliment of the man the Cubs got because of Kosuke's poor play in the second half, Milton Bradley, the Cubs would be playing .500 ball at this point in the season.
Regardless the starting rotation has showed, at times, that they can play at a superior level and to the level of consideration of the potentially best lineup in the majors. Now it's time for Marmol, Gregg and the rest of that underachieving bullpen to start playing their part.
With the re-addition of guys like Ramirez and Harden this team should start to work there way back up to the top of the division that was given to the them by many before the season even started.
I guess you could call me a "glass-half-full" kind of guy, so I won't be giving up on this team any time soon. I just hope that they prove I'm not dumb for not doing so, and I strongly believe they will.
Glass-half-full or not, don't give up yet folks, because I can guarantee this Chicago team will be the talk of the league come playoff time.
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