Done Like Dinner
Mathematically the Cubs still have a chance to make the playoffs, but does anyone really think they will? Not after what we've seen the last week or so, hell all year for that matter, the Cubs have been up and down like a yo-yo. Win six, lose nine, win eight, lose five, consistently inconsistent.
Team Theo has put together the most frustrating team in Chicago sports history. So much talent, so many options, so little urgency, so long team Theo. We're also seeing the last of Joe Maddon in a Cubs uniform, or whatever it is he wears on the bench most days. Expect massive changes this winter.
You can argue that the Cubs had some key injuries at a bad time but it didn't stop the Yankees, the Astros, the Dodgers, or even the Brewers who have gone 11-2 since losing MVP Christian Yelich. Good teams figure out how to overcome them no matter what and keep winning. The Cubs look like the walking dead and even the fans can't get excited based on the funeral like atmosphere for the Cubs - Cards series so far.
It has been apparent all year that the Cubs 2016 world series win was more aberration than indication of what was to come. It has been the same issues all year with zero correction from management, both on the field and in the front office.
For example, yesterday, the Cubs are down one in the eighth inning they get the first two guys on base and don't even attempt to sacrifice them into scoring position.The results were predictable. No runs, game lost 2-1. I mean it's great to have a plan but at some point when the same things happen 178 times try something different for crying out loud.
Joe Maddon's refusal to bunt, hit and run, or sacrifice, ever, is the most idiotic thing I've seen in watching baseball for 60+ years. It is the definition of insane, doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result. I understand the new metrics are all about launch angles, and batted balls in play on strikes, and all the other mumbo-jumbo that runs baseball now. However, it is still about scoring more runs than the other guy and putting players in scoring position for easier run scoring still holds its place in this game.
Looking at this team coming out of spring training I really thought they would run away with the Central division, for sure, and possibly even the national league. I did not see this season coming at all. Not an ounce of urgency all year from most of the team. Going through the motions like all they needed to do was toss their gloves on the field and the other team would call it quits.
Two guys have played all year like they were going to drag the team on their backs, Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras, everyone else not so much. After the trade deadline you can add two more guys to that list, Nicholas Castellanos and Nico Hoerner, have brought energy and excitement to the team.
I thought Albert Almora was having a breakout year until Joe Maddon, for the second straight year, derailed him by insisting that Jason Heyward can play center field better and suddenly benched him for long stretches killing his momentum. Maddon should lose his job for this alone.
Raise your hand if you miss Javy Baez. Me either. Nico Hoerner has shown me that the future is now and and I look for Baez to be moved back to either second base, where he belongs, or to third if the Cubs move Kris Bryant this offseason which I believe is very likely. Don't expect Baez and Bryant to both be here next year, one or the other will be gone.
(I'll do a complete wrap up after the season, and world series, are over, and sometime before the winter meetings.)
When you taste some success, as a fan, the bad seasons feel even worse. The drop from the high of 2016 to the low of 2019, three short years, has been dramatic and disturbing. 2020 brings a new television network for our beloved, increased revenue and increased interest, it deserves a new team on the field and in the management offices.
Ricketts family, you are on the clock.