I’ve been around long enough to have seen some shit. As a Cubs fan, it’s mostly all I’ve seen, to be honest. In the last four decades the Cubs have been good approximately eight times.
Oh, how humiliating.
For the last three years they have been terrible, even by their own miserable standards. But I’ve largely enjoyed it. Why? Because for the first time in my life, the Cubs are being run–baseball-wise at least–like a real Major League franchise. Some of the exploits on the field have been tough to watch, but it’s all been with a noble end in mind. Accumulate assets, develop into a regular postseason contender, and set up the infrastructure to stay that way.
So while some fans have been clamoring for the arrival of hot shot prospects like Javier Baez, Jorge Soler and Kris Bryant for many months, I’ve sat back and felt a very odd feeling for a Cubs fan.
Last night’s trade of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A’s for Addison Russell, Billy McKinney and Dan Straily is basically functioning as a referendum on which Cubs fans are the dumbest. Not surprisingly it’s a several million way tie.
Their confusion, anger and rage is mainly focused on the idea that the Cubs have won seven of their last 10 games, have won four in a row and have one of the better records in the majors the last six weeks. Apparently, even though they are still in last place, and still have one of the worst records in the National League, those signs point to GO FOR IT!
With a 3-4 night in Pissburgh yesterday, our boy Luis Valbuena pushed his season slash line to .288/.394/.456/.850 and his OPS plus to 132. He splits his time between second and third base, and oh, by the way, he’s currently the most productive player at either position in the National League. No big deal.
So today, as though this just happened last night, Cubs fans are finally waking up to the idea that Luis is more than just a solid defender who walks some and likes to flip his bat.
The self-proclaimed arbiter of all that is important to Cubs fans even stooped to say this today:
“I’ve been tough on Luis Valbuena here in the past, but I’m going to praise him now.”
And you thought you’d never see it again! With 1989 manager of the year, and all-around beloved figure Don Zimmer passing last night, how about we turn back the clock and do a Daily Dose just for old time’s sake? Here’s the great Vin Scully on the passing of “Dodger legend” Don Zimmer.
Vin is the fucking greatest.
Two of our favorite asshats collided this week, when Al Yellon decided to give advice to Crane Kenney now that the world knows of the secret shame the Cubs have been hiding for several months…that they gave Crane a five-year contract extension. It’s probably not a good sign when your boss says, “Sure, we’ll add some years to your deal, but we’re not telling anybody.” I mean, you get the cash, which is the most important thing, but both sides are basically acknowledging that the outside world hates the idea. So basically, hiring Crane Kenney is like riding a moped. It’s all good fun until somebody sees you on it. Wait, that’s not how the jokes goes, is it? Never mind.
The Cubs are serious about this Wrigley Field renovation stuff. So serious they had their de facto chairman, Tom Ricketts stare glass eyed into a camera in all sorts of casual Friday apparel to state the case why the Cubs are tired of waiting for the rooftop owners to agree with them on their renovation plan, so screw it, the Cubs are going back to their original plans and they’re going to just do it. Probably. Perhaps.
The video, shot on location on beautiful Wrigley Field, and in its bowels, makes the case that this time, it’s really time to get started on this renovation thing, eventually, maybe, hopefully.
Don Zimmer, that baseball sage best known for having a metal plate in his head (and looking like a gerbil) used to say that 40 games into any season you have a pretty good idea of how good teams are. Any team that is .500 or better probably has a chance to contend, any team under .500 at that point is probably going to stink.
The Cubs have not played 40 games yet, but at 13-25 even if they win their 39th and 40th games they’re going to be 10 games under .500. That’s pretty awful.
If nothing else, the 2014 Cubs will be remembered for egregious use of bat flips. I say “egregious” because I like to use words that look like they’re Latin for Gregory, but in fact I’d argue that these batflips are not unnecessary at all. These Cubs need to celebrate small victories, because the big ones aren’t coming. So, if Luis Valbuena wants to bat flip a hard hit ball at the first baseman, go for it.
Last night as the Cubs pounded the White Sox, we got not one, but two great examples of how you “accept” your base on balls. Luis and Junior Lake demonstrate: