At some point, as fans of Chicago sports teams, you would think we would be used to that empty feeling in our hearts when our favorite team underperforms. Once again we are shocked by bad playing and we are looking at each other with that "what the hell happened" crazy eye stare.
The Chicago Fire won the MLS Cup in their inaugural year of 1998. Nothing since. The Chicago Bears finally win the Super Bowl in 1985 only to never be heard from again. The White Sox are World Series champions in 2005 and can't get out of their way since then. Our beloved, after 756 years of futility finally win it all in 2016 and haven't been able to find their way back since. Second City indeed.
Besides the Blackhawks and the Bulls, who were able to figure out how to continue to beat teams they should and win multiple championships, the next most successful franchise in Chicago history is, the Chicago Sting, who won the Cup in 1981 and 1984, literally the last game ever played by the NASL. What a disgrace to the city of Chicago.
This years Cubs team might be the most frustrating of the bunch. After an up and down season, they finally get themselves in position to pull away from the pack in the Central Division and instead continue to fall backwards in both the Central race and the Wild Card standings. St. Louis is playing .500 baseball and they still can't catch them.
It's hard to believe when you are raking at an impressive .230 clip in September that you can't win many games. This is the second year in a row that the team has gone into offensive melt down in September, when they should be putting pedal to the metal. Last night the Padres broadcasting team, who are really fun to listen to by the way, pointed out that the Cubs starters in their last 10 games have over a 7.00 ERA. Way to help out a struggling offense.
To sum up things so far, the batters suck, the starting pitching sucks, and the bullpen can't get anyone out.
Here is your braintrust, that put together this championship juggernaut, showing off their parting gifts from the Ricketts family as they're shown the door after the season ends. We hope.
Everyone in America that follows baseball is stunned that this team has not won multiple championships. It was a given that they might win three or four titles in a row, and, put themselves in a position to be the 800 pound gorilla for many years in the National League. For god's sake we are holding out hope for the second wild card spot! How far have our expectations fallen here?
I'm more excited about watching the Solheim Cup this weekend than the Cubs. Let that sink into your mush brain for a few minutes. What the hell has happened to me?!?!
To show just how far this team has fallen, take a look at the multiple sections of empty seats you've seen so far for the Padre series this week. In years past you could not steal a ticket to see the Cubs there and for three straight nights huge sections of empty seats in plain sight. My friend in San Diego was able to pick up, for $40, a box seat behind the Cubs dugout Monday night that normally sells for $129.
Look, not winning the Series in 2017 I'm prepared to chalk up to exhaustion after the 2016 joy ride. However, to not be competitive in 2018 and 2019, I will blame management from Theo Epstein down to Joe Maddon. We need a complete house cleaning and a re-evaluation of the team and their talents going forward.
Starting pitching is getting a bit long in the tooth and some changes need to be made there. The bullpen is a yearly problem, and the high priced closer we signed is another misfire, so far. As for the non pitching players, I expect major changes for next season, including some that are going to make die hard Cubs fans throw up.
How are you going to feel about Kris Bryant going to Boston? What about Javy Baez on Texas? Or moved to third base? Kyle Schwarber will look weird in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. And the list will go on as major changes will be coming this off season. It won't be the five year losing version, but the, we need better guys than what we have version, going forward.
My frustration and disgust for what is being put out on the field daily with this team has reached a fever pitch. Unless they make a miracle reversal, and start to play like a professional baseball team, I'm pretty much done with them for 2019.