Dear Cubs fans,
Knock it off. Â Just quit it. Â What is wrong with you?1
There’s no right or wrong way to be a fan. Â But you’re doing it wrong.
Yes, it sucks that this team hasn’t played well since Jhonny Peralta dumped one in the basket a few weeks ago. Â The lost series to the hapless White Sox sucked, needing miraculous finishes to split with the equally awful Reds wasn’t a great sign, and falling down, shitting themselves and rolling in it this weekend at home to the 1962 Mets…I mean, the 2015 Phillies is bad.
Couple that with the fact that they managed to get no-hit for the first time since Lyndon Johnson was President, and that the Giants have won 11 of 12 games and have picked up four games on the Cubs in five days, and yeah, this is no good.
It’s not that you’re upset, it’s how you express it that makes me want to throw the lot of you in the Cubs dumpster and set it ablaze.
Look, I know it’s not everybody, but it’s too goddamned many. Â From demanding that Theo and Jed make some trades to “fix the offense” to demanding Jorge Soler be drawn and quartered, to the Mensa members who are convinced that all of the prospects are busts and should be traded so they can start the rebuild over…it’s all just so stupid.
Yesterday’s lineup had, like every other lineup in baseball history, eight position players in it, and six of those Cubs are 25 years old or younger. Â Four of them are rookies. Â You don’t get to be overjoyed that the young Cubs are “doing so well” and then immediately want them all executed when they hit the skids for a while.
This wasn’t just bound to happen, it was guaranteed to happen. Â Teams this young, no matter how talented, don’t escape the ups and downs of a Major League season. Â Kris Bryant is already a great player, and he’s going to be a superstar, but he was never going to be slump-proof.
Injuries limited Jorge Soler to 167 minor league games. Â Let me write that againÂ 167 minor league games, so his inexperience is going to show…and it’s showing right now, especially in his non-Ferdinand Magellan-esque routes to line drives.
That fact that they’re not playing well doesn’t mean they’re all busts, and if you’re not smart enough to figure that out, then please go away.
We knew that some success was going to bring the fringe fans back, but honestly those front-runners aren’t the problem. Â It’s mostly the dummies who paid attention during the rebuild and never understood it.
It’s been great that the Cubs are actually contenders this soon. Â And yes, even after being swept by the
RedsÂ Phillies 2they are still contenders. Â They’re only 2.5 games out of a playoff spot with 65 games left to play. Â They play the team they trail seven times.
The Phillies, inexplicably are now 8-1 since the All-Star Break. Â Their only loss in that stretch was a 1-0 loss to the Rays in the only interleague game ever where the only run was a homer by the American League team’s pitcher. Â Oh, the Phillies are still horrible, but it just goes to show that during a big league season, even the worst teams will play well for a stretch or two. Â Just like how good teams will play like shit for a while.
But some fans will just never get it. Â These same fans think Jon Lester has been awful, despite the fact he has a 3.32 ERA, he’s allowed only 118 hits in 125 innings and he’s struck out 122 while only walking 31. Â BUT HE CAN’T THROW TO FIRST BASE!
Please, die in a fire.
Jason Motte is terrible because he blew a save on Friday. Â His first in seven attempts. Â Hector Rondon is a mental midget who can’t handle big situations despite the fact that Joe seems to save him for the toughest part of the lineup late in games and in his last 20 innings (basically sinceÂ losingÂ his closer’s job) Hector has a 0.46 ERA, has struck out 18 and walked three, and his slash line against is a ludicrous .138/.186/.154/.340.
Yes, teams are slugging .154 off of him. Â You are all right, he’s just awful.
The national media3 is just not helping, either. Â They lazily link the Cubs to players they will make no effort to acquire, like Justin Upton, who is in the final year of his contract and hitting a Starlin Castro-esque .154/.211/.269/.480 in July. Â Or James Shields, who the Cubs went after in the offseason but deemed too expensive for what the Padres signed him for. Â This is the “cheap” year on his contract where he makes “only” $10 million. Â Something tells me the Cubs aren’t too keen on signing up for the rest of his deal which pays him $21 million per for the next three seasons with a $16 million option in the fourth.
Would the Cubs like to add to this team to keep them in the playoff race? Â Yes, they would. Â Are they going to give up anything of long-term quality for a two month rental right now to do it? Â No.
Here’s where people trot out the Theo quote from his introductory press conference in 2011 that “every season is sacred.”
Only, he never said it. Â Nobody ever gets that quote right. Â What he said was, “Every opportunity to win is sacred. It’s sacred to us inside the organization and it should be sacred to the fans as well. They deserve our best efforts to do what we can to improve the club, and put the club in position to succeed in any given season.”
So, signing Jon Lester and developing Kris Bryant, Jorge, Kyle Schwarber, and Addison Russell, and dumping Rick(y) Renteria for Joe Maddon isn’tÂ theirÂ best efforts to do what [they] can to improve the club?”
What have you done for us lately Theo? Â I’ll tell you what, you got swept by the Phillies! Â Your rebuild is a sham! Â You are a big Ivy League fraud who poops his corduroys!
Another quote from that same press conference is more pertinent to where the Cubs are right now.
“We’re going to build the best baseball operation we can. We’re going to change the culture. Our players are going to change the culture along with us in the major league clubhouse. We’re going to make building a foundation for sustained success a priority. That will lead to playing October baseball more often than not. Once you get in in October there’s a legitimate chance to win the World Series.”
Especially this part. Â Maybe have somebody read it to you if it’s too complex to grasp:
“We’re going to make building a foundation for sustained success a priority.”
That’s why Jorge and Addison and KB are left to play through slumps. Â It’s why Kyle Schwarber is catching three of every five games (while going to catcher school when Lester and Arrieta are pitching). Â It’s why they haven’t just thrown Javy Baez and Billy McKinney on a big trade pile.
This is just so typical of us as Cubs fans. Â We can’t ever appreciate anything as it’s happening. Â Whether they win 88 or 85 or 79 games, this team is a great story. Â They are talented, they care, they fight to the death (just ask the Reds if they believe that.) Â But a lot of them are new at this. Â New at everything. Â They’ve never faced these pitchers, they’ve never played in these parks, they’ve never had to try to play 162 games in a single season before.
Shit like what happened this weekend is going to happen. Â But you know what else is going to happen? Â They’re going to win three games that they should have lost between now and the end of the season.
Getting to the playoffs would be awesome. Â It would fun for us, the fans, to see. Â It would be great experience for them, as they try to become something none of us have ever seen…champions.
It’s just so disheartening to see how so many Cubs fans are reacting to the first signs of trouble. Â But it’s no surprise.
Cubs fans are the dumbest. Â We’re not a cult like the NL team just to the southwest of us, but we have a long and storied history of not being able to hold our shit. Â Every trade rumor that doesn’t come true is cause for rage and anger. Â As if the mere discussion of the possibility of something happening means it was a fait accompli.
Every win the greatest moment ever. Â Every loss means the team sucks and should be dismantled and then shot and then set on fire and then urinated upon…until they win again, and then it’s the greatest moment ever.
They have probably the best manager in baseball. Â A man perfectly equipped to take this young team and keep them from feeling the unsustainable highs and crushing lows that the fucking fanbase can’t resist. Â And now he’s starting to get criticized for not ripping his players after some bad losses.
You know how he started his post-game yesterday? Â “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” Â We all should work for somebody like Joe Maddon.
Here’s what I’m going to do. Â I’m going to enjoy this. Â I’m going to enjoy the fact that the Cubs are relevant. Â I’m going to enjoy that they have the kind of team I envied when they…for decades…stubbornly refused to ever actually rebuild. Â They are young, and they are talented and they are going to play great sometimes and they are going to play lousy sometimes. Â And maybe the Giants, that team that has won three of the last five World Series, will continue to play great and run away from them, but maybe they won’t. Â Maybe the Mets will have propped out their shaky offense enough to take advantage of all that great pitching, but maybe they won’t have.
The Cubs are, despite what recent results indicate, good. Â They are going to get better and better. Â I’m going to enjoy this season for what it is, the first big step back towards relevancy. Â Maybe it ends up with a champagne celebration, maybe it ends with a thud.
But even when it ends, it’s not the end. Â This is still just the beginning.
Stop being such assholes and enjoy it. Â It’s so much better than we’re used to.