In a season filled with water-cooler tirades, outfielders forgetting how many outs there are, and runners left on base by the truckload, one positive note to this season does exist.
With the Cubs' third straight win over the San Francisco Giants today, they assured themselves that they will be no worse than a .500 team. And, assuming they win at least one more game, they are on the verge of a third consecutive winning season.
To show you how rare this feat is for our Cubbies, one has to go back to 1972 to find a better winning streak. From 1968 through 1972, the Cubs had winning records, though there were no postseason appearances.
A small consolation, I know, but it's something, at least.
Following Saturday's 6-2 victory, effectively ending any hope the Giants had of overtaking Colorado for the NL wild card, the Cubs not only served as spoilers but also ran their season record to 81-73.
They only need to win one of their remaining eight games to assure themselves of a third consecutive winning season.
Too little, too late, but the Cubs seem to play better when the pressure is off. It may be a mentally weak team lacking in clubhouse leadership.
Sure, Derrek Lee is a leader by example, but who is that guy that will police the clubhouse and that rah-rah, take-charge guy on the field? He is nowhere to be found on the current roster.
Maybe that doesn't matter. Talent wins games, not grit, determination, and fire. Still, it would be nice to see someone with character join the team this offseason, especially after losing high-character guys like Mark DeRosa and Kerry Wood last winter.
In fact, that missing fire is probably one reason why Jim Hendry brought Milton Bradley into the mix last offseason. While it didn't work out, most great teams have leaders, and the Cubs need to find one.
More importantly, they need to find talent, get better performances out of Alfonso Soriano, Geo Soto, and others next season, and hope for better health.
Until then, at least they have the knowledge that they didn't quit and ended the season on a positive note.
That, and two dollars will get you a cup of coffee, come to think of it.