Yes, Cubs fans, I, like you, have not thought much about the 2010 Cubs since late August or early September. I lost interest in between Milton Bradley’s rightfield shenanigans and Kevin Gregg’s ineptitude.
I have kept busy anticipating a great Chicago Bears season ruined by incompetent management and Brian Urlacher’s injury in the first half of the first game of the season. I then watched Jay Cutler scramble for his life, throw a bunch of bad passes to a bunch of below average wide receivers and turn the ball over more times than touchdowns (I am not counting the barrage of TDs against the Lions and Vikings, who sat their starters, in the last two games of the season).
My Bears season ended early as they were spanked at Cincinnati 45-10, lead by former Bear bust Cedric Benson (37 carries, 189 yards, one TD). Ouch.
Good thing the Bulls’ season started October 28, only three days after the Bears' season ended in Cincy. And I, being a big Michael Jordan fan, have stuck with my Bulls through the most futile decade in sports history.
I am one of the few people that can name players from the 1999-2003 years (Brent Barry, Rusty LaRue, John Starks), aka, The Pre-Hinrich Era.
There is no such thing as The Pre-Hinrich Era; but he was drafted in 2003, the same year as five of the best NBA players (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Kaman).
The Bulls made sure they locked up their slow, undersized, white shooting guard for five years and over $50 million; therefore handing the keys to their franchise over to the aforementioned slow-footed undersized guard who averages 13 PPG in his career and forcing the Kirk Hinrich era on the city of Chicago.
So here I am today. I withstood a very disappointing 2009 Cubs season, a really bad Bears team with a bleak future, a mediocre Bulls team, the frigid cold Chicago air and have recently caught myself smiling while looking at my cell phone. Seeing the clock hit 1:20 PM, dreaming of summer afternoons at Wrigley.
I actually stopped thinking about the 2009 Cubs the instant Milton Bradley threw that ball into the rightfield bleachers. The Cubs were a floundering .500 team and everyone watching the game or in attendance knew the Cubs season was in jeopardy as long as Milton Bradley was on the team.
Bradley’s subtraction is the Cubs' addition...but he was not the only reason the Cubs stunk last year.
Alfonso Soriano was dreadful last season, hitting his lowest total HRs since 2001 and hitting a career low .241. 2008 NL Rookie of the Year Geovanny Soto was busted for smoking pot in June, which explained his weight gain and .210 average.
Alfonso Soriano was horrible last season, Milton Bradley was a joke, Geovanny Soto was fat and high, Aramis Ramirez was injured, and we had a guy named Kevin Gregg who I do not want to talk about anymore.
With Aramis Ramirez coming back healthy, and better seasons from Alfonso Soriano and Geo Soto, the Cubs offense will be back.
We will win games we did not last season because our offense will score more than the below league average of 4.3 RPG from last season; our pitching will be fine (even though Ted Lilly is likely out until May) now that we have released the worst closer in Cubs history.
After a long, uneventful Cubs off season, when the biggest move the team made was for journey man Marlon Byrd, and after days of thinking about how can a bad team like the 2009 Cubs, who only won 83 games, be better than last, I have come to this conclusion.
I truly believe the Cubs will be better in 2010. You can bet on better seasons from Soriano, Ramirez, and Soto and with the subtraction of Bradley and the worst closer in Cubs history, the team has to be better. And they will be.
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