Ah, I can't say I didn't see this coming. The Cubs three game exit of the playoffs this year was truly pathetic. I haven't seen such a crappy effort since my dog whined and begged to get my pizza crust last week. No effort, just whining and begging.
But, I actually kind of feel sorry for the Cubs. I mean, it's easy to say now that they are knocked out, but how much more terrible could they have played? That series was a joke. I'll take you inside my head, and try to explain the internal civil war I'm fighting.
Reasons to Pity:
5) This one will linger
Geo Soto is probably going to win the NL Rookie of the Year. And then everybody will remember how the Cubs DIDN'T win anything in the playoffs. Ouch.
Plus, Kosuke Fukudome isn't going anywhere, and he was God-awful in the playoffs too. That memory will carry over to next year much more so then the infield fielding woes or Carlos Zambrano's tired shoulder. You have to wonder if the Cubs are dealing with a dead contract with the struggling outfielder.
4) Is Sweet Lou's contract a soul deal?
Pinella just got extended through 2012, yet he hasn't won ONE game in the playoffs yet. That's worse then Dusty Baker. The Cubs are absolutely loaded. Like, I could get them to the NLDS. But how much is Lou really getting in the end from his players?
3) This was the year!
No, I'm not mocking the Cubs' fifty million slogans claiming they were gonna win in 2008, but if they were going to do any curse-breaking, it seems like this woulda been the best time. Rich Harden was healthy, and actually their whole rotation was healthy! They had no significant injuries to speak of. So...good luck getting that to happen ever again.
2) They actually did get into the record books...kinda
That four error performance in Game Two was disgraceful. That kind of performance is tangible proof that will allow historians and fans to look back on the 2008 Cubs and laugh. They didn't just play badly, they officially played the worst game an infield as ever collectively played that day.
1) A whole century is pretty official
A triple digit drought is just impressive. It's like eating. If you eat some chips, hot dogs, beans, and beer at a barbecue, you're like man, I ate a lot. But if you eat a whole pizza to yourself or kill a 30 pack of Bud Light on your own it's official.
That's what this century does to the Cubs fans. And somewhere in my human consciousness, I feel for them. Yeah, they're kinda obnoxious, and yeah, they really have no reason to ever, EVER talk crap about another team, but hey, nobody deserves 100 years without a championship.
BUT, thing is, I'm kinda mean too. So I gotta poke some fun and laugh, especially since the Cubbies won the NL Central this year over the Cardinals.
Reasons to Laugh:
5) No way you equal some performances from this season
Is Rich Harden's ERA ever going to be around 2.00 again? No. Will he ever make 25 starts again? That might be tough too.
Will Jim Edmonds or Reed Johnson ever give you those numbers again?
And I haven't even mentioned Ryan Dempster being an All-Star, Kerry Wood staying healthy, etc. So if you're banking on all that to happen again, I'll start laughing right now.
4) The window is closing. Fast.
The Brewers probably won't be as good next year, but the Astros and Cardinals should be better. Plus, you gotta figure the Diamondbacks, Mets, Braves, and Padres are all on their way to rebounding. Again, this was the year to win it. Atta baby Cubs!
3) All that hype for nothing
I have never seen so much hype over the beginning of the playoffs ever. And to hear so many Cubs fans talking crap about it, I love to see them shut up. People acted like the streak would inevitably end, and they just had to figure out how to celebrate.
2) Big Z Sucks
I hate Carlos Zambrano with everything that I am. Just to see him lose alone is worth my time. But to watch him get hit around for most of September, AND run into bad luck? Priceless. Nothing makes me happier then a Big Z tantrum, and he never fails to deliver.
1) HAPPY 100!!!
I will always have this on the Cubs. I'll admit it: the Cubs are better then the Cards right now. They are more talented, more healthy, and have more money.
But guess what? The two teams have won THE SAME amount of playoff games in the last two years. NONE. So it makes all those regular season wins sorta irrelevant.
So this is what is going on through my head. Do I point and laugh, or give my condolences? It's like watching a rival fall on their ass. Yeah, it's awesome at first, but then you kinda go over and offer help.
I decided I'm not going to offer help or condolences. Know why? Because I don't think Cubs fans need it. They're a strong bunch obviously, and I know they'll be back next year. And the year after that.
So with that, I tip my hat to Cubs fans, for coming back for more each spring.
But under my hat, I'm still laughing.