“Everybody wants to win. But the fans know one team is going to win and one team’s going to lose even before they get to the ballpark. But to come with the spirit of having fun... of laughing, of joking, of making trickery, of booing an umpire, or cheering a star, all the emotions are there. And whoever designed the phrase ‘the agony of defeat’ and ‘the ecstasy of victory’ certainly covered it all. But, it’s a game. Enjoy it.” - Harry Caray, 4th Inning

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

It ain't over!!

Only a Cub fan would feel the need to declare that "it ain't over!" before May was upon us. Though, in most seasons past, it certainly WAS over before those wonderful May showers. But first, an introduction: My name is Irwin F. Fletcher, a die-hard Cub fan since the beginning of time (err.. 1981). Raised in LA on WGN, I developed Cub fever and it has only gotten worse with age. Hopefully, I can write every day, or close to every day, and recap, vent, prognosticate, look for hidden signs, talk about the weather... whathaveyou. So, thanks for stopping by, here's my look at Day 1 (A.D.)-

I don't know what it is about the goddamn Florida Marlins; it doesn't matter who is on that team, but it seems like whenever they show up, the Cubs get spooked. The Cubs also have this strange tendency to react in an inverse proportion to a pitchers' ERA; Vargas comes to town with an ERA in the 7s, and any Cub fan worth their salt knows this means he'll give the Cubs fits... and he did. Seriously, give me a guy with an ERA in the 2s or 3s anytime... The Cubs have a knack for playing down to others teams (see: Cincinnati Reds).

As for our guy, Big Z. I got a bit spooked before the season when Zambrano proclaimed that he was going to win the Cy Young award. For some reason, I just didn't think hoisting that lofty goal on himself was going to produce good results; psychologically, he was fine thriving in the shadows of Wood and Prior. With those two guys perma-shelved (until they start awarding fantasy points for "towel-games"), everyone kind of woke up and realized Z was our ace, and in typical Cub fashion, he's not having the best of time with lofty expectations.

Watching the game on ESPN last night was an exercise in anger management; I loved listening to Eric Karros and Rick Sutcliffe wax poetic about how much they loved being Cubs. EK, especially. Few guys have passed through life as a Cub as quickly, and as memorably as Karros. Not only did he hit one of the biggest home runs in 2003 (Yanks/Cubs at the Confines during the Clemens/Wood matchup), but I could swear he would stop strangers on the streets of Chicago to tell them how much he loved being there. Forgetting them for a second, play-by-play man Dave O'Brien, on a broken record, kept talking about how Zambrano has been encouraged by the Cubs to reign it in, and keep his cool, and he appears to be more like a "puppy dog" and "could that be affecting his pitching?" He must have been talking about Victor Zambrano, because CARLOS Zambrano went out and broke a bat over his freakin' knee after a strikeout!

Now, as for Jacque Jones... Look, I think we just ought to stop getting guys from the Twins. We should add them to the list of teams from whom we should not accept players. (The Braves currently hold the top spot with standouts like Jeff Blauser, Micah Bowie, Mike Remlinger). In recent time, the Twins have given us Rick Aguilera, LaTroy Hawkins, and now this guy! (Ron Coomer gets a free pass here, he was the man). I've got nothing against Jacque as a person, but I knew it was a foolish idea at the time, and he's not making any friends by stealing the ol' "Rip the Fans for Booing Me" play from Hawkins. Though, I am intrigued to see how long he can keep this streak alive of only hitting home-runs in seemingly improbable situations.

And Finally... did we actually reverse the curse last night? A night game at Wrigley. Cubs and Marlins. One team carries a 3-0 lead into the 8th inning when all of a sudden, the other team explodes for a lot of runs and goes on to win the game. Game 6 of 2003 NLCS or last night? Your thoughts...


Editor's note:

Thanks to the keen memory of FergieJ31 over at Northsidebaseball.com, I was informed that both rallies (Game 6 and last night) were keyed by a Juan Pierre double. Eerie.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

GREAT POST!!!! I learned about your blog from NSBB - and it is a great addition to my Cubs addiction (I was born under a bad sign in Chicago in the Spring of '69!). So – keep it up!



9:21 AM

Blogger Eli said...

Eli Unemployed a Cub fan? Unlikely, but I will keep reading. Great job, Fletch, keep it up!


12:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy fuck...that is odd.

I wonder if anyone was sitting in the Bartman seat when Murton and Jacque stepped up to the plate.

4:32 AM


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