Sunday, October 05, 2008

Wow, Didn't See That Coming
(eulogizing the '08 Cubs)

Cubs swept in the first round. They didn't even show up.

You can't win in the playoffs when . . .

. . . you commit four errors in one game;

. . . you walk seven hitters in one game;

. . . you only score six runs in three games;

. . . your two best hitters both produce absolutely nothing;

. . . your supposed superstar pitchers don't dominate.

What's tough about this one is, that for the first time in twenty five years of rooting, I really don't believe they will be better next year. And that's because they were (at least in the regular season) so good this year, winning 97 games and thumping their opposition on a regular basis. It takes some good fortune to make the playoffs three years in a row. Who knows if they will? And both Big Z and Harden have arm problems that will have to be dealt with at some point, which means some lean times. Even if they overcome the odds and make the postseason next year, this roster has some tragic flaws that may not get fixed this offseason since the team looks, on the surface, like it is so good.

Also, for the first time ever, I really wonder if that curse thing might be more than a silly notion. I really do. Just in case, how about a special promo game next year where nobody gets in without a real live goat? Maybe Bill Grogan could throw out the first pitch?

Back to my life as it was before. I watched a lot of games this summer thinking this was the year. Now I'll watch summer fade to autumn. I'll always be a fan, but I'm just not sure they really will be better next year. Not this time. I'll be more guarded in my optimism than in the past. Yet you can't quit on them. Even if it doesn't happen for a few more decades. The more the disappointment builds, the more glorious the celebration will be. And there will be few true die hards who persevere. Just not sure anymore it will this particular group of guys who will get it done. They have had their chances and they have not capitalized. I may have to wait for another round of getting really bad, then rebuilding, then going on a run again. I'll be there. But I'm not about to tell you I believe it will be next year. Not this time.


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