To recap, the Chicago National League Baseball Club of 2012 has a record of 38 wins and 54 losses entering tonight’s contest with the St. Louis Cardinals. They are on the verge (maybe) of trading Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza among other possibilities. They have the third-worst record by percentage in all of Major League Baseball. These Cubs have the second-worst offense in all of baseball, just a shade better than the San Diego Padres at 3.77 runs per game. To put it lightly, the Cubs are not very good at baseball.
And it’s not surprising that most Cubs fans refuse to accept this.
I see things being said, like “If we keep Dempster we could challenge for the wild card!” or “If only we had Anthony Rizzo at the beginning of the season, we could be in the thick of things!” There are various reasons that these statements are laughable, but Cubs fans (like most baseball fans) aren’t always the most logical of people. They don’t care about the fact that the Cubs are 14.5 games out of first and 13 games out of a wild card. Those are simply numbers, and not the numbers they care about.
Cubs fans look at things like Dempster’s consecutive scoreless innings streak (oops, snapped, stupid Cardinals) and All-Star Bryan LaHair‘s hot start (boy he cooled down didn’t he) and they think, “Man, if we only had that one extra piece…” The extra piece being, of course, a couple more good starters, outfielders that can rake, and a catcher (sorry, Geovany Soto and Steve Clevenger), second baseman (sorry, Darwin Barney) and third baseman that aren’t offensively incompetent. What’s amusing is that the same guys that Cubs fans blast and vilify are the ones that they think could be traded for the entirety of another team’s farm system, but I digress.
In 2009, the Cubs were still in a good part of their “win now” phase but injuries and bad luck as well as underachievement doomed them. They ended up being about 8 games back of first when the season ended, but that season actually did have hope. That team, at its core, was good. This team simply is not. We’ve written a bunch about how bad this team is and how bad it’s going to be for the next couple seasons while the rebuild is on, so it won’t be repeated.
That doesn’t stop Cubs fans though. And that’s okay.
We haven’t been mathematically eliminated yet! Our elimination number is 56, we can totally pull this off! Never mind that we’re 14.5 games back of the Reds, 14 games back of the Pirates, 9.5 games back of the Cardinals and six back of the Brewers and need strategic asteroid strikes to get back into the thick of things…those asteroids could happen. Darwin Barney could suddenly become Dustin Pedroia. Tony Campana might hit a home run. And we have a bench anchored by the three-headed monster of Jeff Baker, Reed Johnson and Joe Mather. To hell with the naysayers! Cubs to the World Series in 2012!
It’s totally unrealistic, but stranger things have happened. And besides, we’re Cubs fans, we don’t deal in logic.