Monday, September 25, 2023

A Cubs Fan’s Desperate Letter To The Cubs


Dear Cubs,

First, let me start off by saying I love you guys. The joy you brought me and so many others with your historic World Series run last season still hasn’t dissipated. I still get chills when I hear or read or say or type or think or dream, “Chicago Cubs, 2016 World Series Champions”. I have a feeling that won’t get old for a while, if ever. Now I know why White Sox fans were so unbelievably insufferable in 2005. I get it now. I feel the same way too. Though I’m definitely not as annoying as they were! 🙂

Because of this, at least in my mind, you guys have earned a pass for this year. I won’t be that upset or unraveling at the seams if you fail to win it all this year, or hell, even fail to make the World Series. As blasphemous as that sounds, I’ve been blessed with the sort of mental peace after our championship (yes, “our”) run that will suffice for the rest of the year. My fellow fans may think that’s nuts, but that’s the reality of the situation.

However, that being said, I’d still like to watch some enjoyable baseball as the summer kicks into full gear. The summer, as far as the weather goes, for the most part, is intolerable. I hate 90+ degree heat and humidity with a burning passion. See what I did there?

What helps get me through those difficult summer days, though, is knowing that I’ll get to watch an entertaining baseball game at some point that day. And this year, with the aforementioned “pass” being provided to you, that’s all I’m really asking for. An entertaining baseball game on a daily basis.

Our (yes, “our”) start this year has been an uninspiring 25-25 through 50 games. That’s almost 1/3 of the season now gone. Sure, we’re only a game or two out of first place in the division, and there’s plenty of time left in the season to get things right. But that’s not my issue.

The issue is that, for the most part, you’ve been difficult to watch for most of the season. From a pure baseball perspective, there haven’t been many times this year where I’ve been like, “Wow, what a game!”

Forget winning and losing. The team as a whole just isn’t doing their jobs at a satisfactory level in any facet of the game. Most pitchers aren’t pitching well. Most hitters aren’t hitting well. Too many fielders aren’t fielding or throwing or catching well. Too many games have resulted in the following reaction: “Man, everything about that game sucked.”

In the pitching department, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey have both been allowing home runs at alarming rates, and have been unable to locate many of their pitches all season. Eddie Butler has been decent but inconsistent, especially with his command. Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks are the only sure things to remain in the rotation beyond this season, and they’ve been closer to average than great so far. Oh yeah, and then there are the first inning woes. The pitching simply hasn’t been good enough to keep the team in games consistently enough. And for an offense that’s struggling, knowing you must overcome deficits early and often doesn’t help.

The offense has been brutal for most of the year. The lineup, while star-studded, has been mired in a season-long slump. Kyle Schwarber has been a disaster, hitting in the .170s with an OBP of under .300. That’s demotion-worthy. And I love Bam-Bam. Addison Russell has been scuffling at the plate all year. Anthony Rizzo, Willson Contreras, Javy Baez, and Ben Zobrist have barely been passable. You’re basically last in the league at hitting with runners-in-scoring-position, and went a full week in May without scoring any runs without the aid of a home run. A full week! It’s disappointing, and hard to watch.

And then there’s the defense. You’re starting to get your shit together lately, but for a while there was too much carelessness. Dropped fly balls, bobbles, and then the utterly inexplicable amount of bad throws. I still can’t get over one game against the Cardinals … Contreras’s throw to first on a dropped strike three that sailed on Rizzo and kept the Cards alive in the ninth inning. Luckily nothing bad happened, but that kind of stuff is expected from a college team. Not a professional team.

And that’s my point. It really doesn’t matter to me this year if you win or lose, as I’ve stated before. But the utter, and pardon me for the lack of a better word, ineptitude in certain areas has been appalling. And not fun to watch. I’ve found myself turning games off in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings way too often this year. I hate doing that, too.

Speaking of which, as I’m writing this letter to you, it’s currently going to the 6th inning in this game against the Padres, and you’re losing 6-2. To the Padres. After losing last night. To the PADRES. Did I mention it’s the f*cking Padres?

All I’m asking for is better baseball. Someone, please, take charge in the lineup and be clutch for once. Drive someone in in a critical situation. It’s a good kind of contagious, I promise. Someone, please, step up in the rotation and give the team some competitive hope on a day to day basis outside of Lester and Hendricks. And please continue to display the type of fielding that basically won the World Series last year. That’s the kind of baseball I’m looking for.

If you happen to start winning games at a torrid pace and distance yourselves from the rest of the NL Central, especially the trash Cardinals, while you’re at it, that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. But I’ll appreciate baby steps just as well.

Here’s to a more enjoyable and tolerable summer. Try not to suck.



P.S. I [still] love you, Cubs.

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