Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tellin' it like it is

I'm sick of talking about potential.

I'm tired of doubles that turn into singles.

I'm sick of being the worst fielding team in the league, or damn close.

I'm tired of hits that come only when no one is on base.

I'm sick of a bullpen that can't hold a lead.

I'm tired of the wrong players being kept on the major league roster while better options rot in the minors.

I'm sick of runners at second with nobody out staying at second with one out.

I'm tired of runners at third with less than two outs still standing at third when the inning ends.

I'm sick of a team that turns any park not called "Wrigley Field" into a house of horrors.

I'm sick of a $40 million outfield trio that has been outperformed by Josh Willingham ($3 mil; .304, 18, 46), Shane Victorino ($3 mil; .310, 9, 52), and Hunter Pence ($439,000; .291, 16, 52).

I'm tired of watching Mike Fontenot, Jeff Baker and Aaron Miles try to replace Mark DeRosa.

I'm sick of watching Geovany Soto flail away at the plate as if he's never heard the words "Rookie of the Year."

I'm tired of Carlos Zambrano's antics and inability to transform from a joker into an ace.

I'm even sick of fans throwing things at opposing players (by the way, did they eject the right person after that bleacher fan threw his beer on Shane Victorino?)

But mostly, I'm sick of rooting for a team that's so damned hard to root for. Remember how the Cubs just found ways to win in 2008? Clutch hitting, no excuses, a manager on his toes, consistency, fundamentals, hustle. How many of those descriptors fit the 2009 version of the Cubs?

Hey, don't get me wrong, I'm a Cubs fan. Always have been, always will be. But it sure takes a lot of the fun out of it when you watch them play and feel like they don't deserve to win.

Last year, casual baseball fans would say, "Wow, you gotta hand it to the Cubs. They're never out of a game, and they come to play."

This year, they say, "How are they only a few games out of first?" or "How did they not lose that game last night? They sure tried."

I don't have any answers. I honestly have no idea how a team can go from all out effort and 97 wins one year to lazy and overpaid and .500 the next, with much the same roster and the same man at the helm. What I do know is that the Cubs must have read a few too many preseason predictions this year, and thought they'd coast to the playoffs. This version of Cubs baseball is not what I signed up for when the season started.

I write all this knowing the season isn't over. There are exactly 50 games left, nearly a third of the season. The Cubs could sneak their way into the playoffs on the back of the Cardinals struggling. Or better yet, the Cubs could still turn it around. We've seen teams like the Astros, Marlins and Rockies put it together late and earn a postseason berth, and the Cubs could do it too.

And I'll certainly be rooting for that to happen.

But until and unless something changes, count me as one of the weary. I'm sick of the lack of leadership on this team, and I'm tired of the lack of effort. Play ball, dammit.

1 comment:

  1. You said it all and I, for one, am in total agreement, as I'm sure the rest of the weary Cubs fans are as well. (sigh....)