Excuse me just a moment before I start blogging, I'm reading about how the Cubs are feeling a sense of urgency with only 40-some games left ...
Ok, I'm done.
So, the St. Louis Cardinals won 2 of 3 against the NL-leading Dodgers in Los Angeles. Now it's the Cubs turn after losing two on the road to the San Diego Padres. The Cubs are down by six games in the division, further than they've been all season, and the Cardinals don't even lose a series to the Dodgers in L.A. Unless urgency means everyone on that team just wants this miserable season to end already, urgency has come too late.
No, instead it was only "we're just a couple games back" or "we're tied for the division lead" or "I've got a good feeling we're gonna turn it around here." No urgency then. Now we have urgency.
"You've got to remember this, Wrigley Field is a smaller ballpark that plays into our scheme of things a lot better than these big parks on the road," Piniella said. "I don't think it's a coincidence that we haven't played well in Colorado, we haven't played well in Arizona, we haven't played well in this place. They're all bigger ballparks. You've got to cover more ground. The infields are harder."
More excuses. The Cubs, as I recall, I mean, my memory of 2008 is a bit fuzzy since it feels like ages ago, were a power-hitting team last year, but were the best in the NL during the regular season, and they managed .500 baseball in these "bigger" ballparks.
Truth is I really don't care what comes out of Lou and Jim Hendry's mouths anymore. It's all excuse-making, it's all PR-related and it's all meaningless. Compare that to other side of town where Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams are calling their players a bunch of underachievers. But no, that's not the Cubs way of doing things, let's just keep things unspoken and smiley and carefree in the Cubs' club house. There's a difference between calling out your team and calling out individual players. Maybe if Lou and Jim were honest like that, the media would be less-inclined to start targeting certain players, settling for those sound bites instead. Unlikely, but it's a thought.
If you don't believe 2009 is over for the Cubs, you'll know by the end of the nine-game home stand starting Tuesday. The Cubs play their best at home and it's the longest home stand left on the schedule, all against losing teams: Washington, New York and Houston. If they don't go 7-2 and gain at least three games up on the Cardinals, they're done. If they can't do it then, they'll never play hot enough to surpass St. Louis. But on the other hand, they could be dead before they leave Los Angeles. Slip any further back and it's only deeper into their own grave.
I'm not even going to talk about how they can do it or complain about any of the players. What we've seen is what we've got unless someone should surprise us or the novel idea of getting hits with runners in scoring position suddenly catches on.
The Cubs have a long shot chance to win the division, I won't deny them that, but that's like saying the Rockies have had a long shot chance of winning the NL West this year, and they're only 3.5 behind the Dodgers.
My only advice to the angry Cubs fan is don't continue to be frustrated by the same stuff you've seen all season. Anything good is a surprise at this point, and if you take up that perspective, you might just make it through to September without your yearly triple-bypass.