This is one of my least favorite Cubs teams in quite some time.
There have been some stinkers in recent memory, sure. But from a bloated payroll, expected superstar, psychological makeup of the team standpoint, this one has let me down in a huge way.
Who knew that to this point that Silva would be a) the most dominant Carlos and b) the most sane? Who knew Aramis would fall into a hole at the plate he has no signs of climbing out of? Who knew the bullpen would be so impressively atrocious? (OK, everybody knew that. But I digress.) The fact is, this team has been a major disappointment so far, and it looks like this will be a long summer on the North Side.
The last time I felt this way was in early 2007. Soriano was a big offseason splash, Lou had just come aboard to manage, the pitching staff was solid, the offense looked pretty good…and…
Blah. Bad start.
It wasn’t so much a direct result of the play on the field. I’ve seen many a year where the Cubs play on the field was horrible. My dislike for that team in early 2007 had the same cause as my dislike for this team here in 2010.
They have no heart. They play with no fire, with no pride.
Now, I’m not exactly a good player by any stretch of the imagination, but I play hard. I run out every fly ball. I leg out singles into doubles. I give everything I can when I’m playing (beer league softball now that I’m a codger) because I love the game, I cherish the game, and I take pride in playing the game to the best of my abilities. Its not about pressing; its about giving it my best.
This team does not do that. The team in early 2007 didn’t, either.
But then something happened, and the team woke up.
Lou woke up.
Lou’s famous tirade on June 2 was, in my opinion, the turning point of that season and carried over to 08. The team started PLAYING, and back to back division titles was the reward. Lou breathed life into the team by going out and showing them he believed in them by exploding.
This team needs Piniellamania back.
Lou has got to show some fire. He’s got to show some heart. He needs to angrily trudge out of the dugout at a snail’s pace and kick some dirt on somebody, being careful not to dislocate a hip. He needs to yell, spraying CB Bucknor in the face with profanity-laced saliva. He needs to pull up the bases, and bring them back to the dugout to explain to Theriot what they’re on the field for. He needs to get himself suspended for at least as long as it would take the bullpen to blow 5 games. He needs to rip off his shirt, point to all of his little Piniellamaniacs, and flex while “Real American” blares over the Wrigley PA. SOMETHING.
He needs to show he CARES. His team will follow suit. They proved that in 2007. They can prove it again in 2010.
And if they can start putting their heart back into baseball, I can start putting my heart back into rooting unabashedly for them.
(Special thanks to @plamorte for the Piniellamania pic.)