Monday, May 16

Interesting article...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/gammons/story?id=2061052 - ESPN.com

If you read the whole thing, Peter Gammons makes the Cubs sound like they are in the best position of any of the teams he talks about in this article. Granted it is an article on the biggest disappointments of the year so far, but still, I think there is good reason for some optimism on the horizon if some of these injured Cubs start making a bounce back. Afterall, as Gammons points out, the Cubs are only 5 games away from the NL wild card spot and the season isn't quite a quarter of the way through.

7 Comments:

At 9:16 PM, Blogger JT said...

It is kinda shocking how they're the 5th worst team in the NL... although I do agree - their upside is huge. Borowski coming back next week, Walker's only days away, meaning our part players like Neifi and Jerry can split time and be more effective.

Wood should be fine, and the Central isn't as strong as it's been in the past, meaning the Cubs do still have some semblance of a chance for success this season.

 
At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Jt- The central isn't as strong as it's been in the past? Okay, I'll give you that one. The division has some weak teams in it. But the Cardinals are working on another fantastic season, and the Cubs are really going to have to start making up ground quickly.

I agree that the Cubs should play better baseball from here on out. The injured should start to return, and maybe a trade or two will be made to improve the team, although hopefully that won't be necessary.

As far as I can tell, the most important thing for the Cubs to do this year that they haven't done in the past is to beat the Cardinals when they meet up with them. They're going to have to do their own work in the division, because very few other teams can be counted on to knock the Cards down a peg.

 
At 10:13 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Gammons is hoping. There's almost nothing in sports as exciting as the Cubs in the playoffs. Maybe we could say absolutely nothing.

In 2003 even Cardinal fans and Yankee fans became Cub fans. In 1989, after the Giants beat the Cubs in the first round of the playoffs, there was an earthquake in San Francisco and no more games could be played there. The Giants were swept by the A's in the Series. In 1984, the Padres came back to beat the Cubs in the first round of the playoffs only to be beaten handily by the Tigers.

When the Cubs are winning, the whole country is in a profoundly better mood. From 1967 thru 1972 the Cubs had winning records and were in the hunt. It should be obvious why Woodstock happened in 1969. This was an era of hope, regardless of the Vietnam War. Even though Nixon was elected.

After the 1972 season ended, the Cubs stopped winning for more than a decade, and Nixon was re-elected. Hope had left the land. (Sound Arthurian? Remember when "The Natural" came out?)

Hope will not return to the land until the Cubs are in the playoffs again. Do they have a Lancelot? How about a Lady in White?

Gammons wants to believe again. He's kind of old, so maybe he's our Merlin.

NOTE: This is what happens when the Cubs lose two close ones and that's followed by an off day.

 
At 10:59 PM, Blogger JT said...

Gammons = Gandalf.

Any minute now he'll come flying over the hills and into the valley of Minas Tirith, chasing away the dead warriors like Rolen and Larry "Buzzcut" Walker.

I have not seen one solid reason as to why the Cubs should abandon all hope - this next couple of weeks will be a big litmus test, as they visit two big NL Central Rivals in Pittsburgh and Houston (2 other pretenders to the throne), not to mention that big weekend with the White Sox.

 
At 11:15 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Do NOT look up the Cubs' record against the Chi-Sox.

 
At 12:46 AM, Blogger JT said...

From 1997-2004, the Cubs have played the White Sox 42 times, and the series is split 20-22 in favour of Guillen's Goons.

Give me the stats from before 1997, as I sure as heck can't find them.

Jim, this is all you. I anxiously wait for the real history.

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Jim said...

Probably somebody, somewhere has kept a record of all the exhibition games the Cubs and Pale Hose have played against each other, but I can't find a record of them either.

Back in the pre-dawn era of non-interleague play, the Cubs and Sox would play an exhibition game around mid-season every year. It always drew a big crowd. In those days, neither team drew very large crowds during the weekdays, and sellouts were almost never heard of.

The exhibition games almost outdrew any other games these two teams played, except when the Cubs played the Cardinals of course.

As I recall, the Sox won most of these games. The Cubs usually went at them like spring training, playing there starters for the first half of the game and then bringing in the bench for the second half. Sometimes they would call up some youngesters from Iowa to give them a look in a major league stadium.

The Sox, on the other hand, always seemed to take the games more seriously, doing everything they could to win. Probably that's not surprising, since the Sox were always considered "the other team" in Chicago. They were the blue collar team, the guys from the wrong end of town, where the meat packing plants and the factories were. After the color line was borken in 1947, they were the team with the most Afro-American players. The North Siders were the bankers' team. Their fan base wore white shirts and ties and suits.

And then there is the whole Black Sox scandal thing. It left the Sox with a terrible chip to carry around.

So who did Ty Cobb say was the best baseball player to ever play the game? If you're guessing the Babe or the Splinded Splinter or Joltin' Joe, you'd be wrong.

 

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