So many things have happened in the last week of Cubdom, so where does one start? The Cubs are now on a two game slide and barely hanging on to the NL Central lead, and one has to think that if they could put together a 5-game run (given that Milwaukee and St. Louis are just as unstable), they could breath a little easier. This brings me to my first point, the "loser mentality" that is pervasive throughout the organization.
I can only hope that with new ownership for 2008, that the house is fully cleaned out from broadcasting booth to ticket management. Last night, Bob Brenly (who is nowhere close to Steve Stone when it comes to color commentary) said that Monday's loss didn't hurt the Cubs because Milwaukee and St. Louis both lost as well. He went on to say that at this time of year, it's more important that days click off the calendar and that you maintain the lead and that "although it'd be fantastic to win and put some distance, it's not the end of the world". Bob, is that truly what you thought when Arizona was on it's way to winning their division and the World Series? He went on to say later that inning that in an upcoming 5 games with St. Louis, that if we could win 4 of them, we'd be in a good position.
Why put so much pressure on the team to go .800 in a 5 game set? Not many teams can pull that off against the crappy teams of the league, let along a team fighting them for the division title.
Look, the hope of a Wild Card is basically gone for any team in the NL Central. At 3 games over .500, the Cubs are in the lead and would be 6 games out of the Wild Card spot, so the only option for the post season is to win the division outright. Every single game is very important and to pish-posh a loss which had our $91 Million ace, lose his cool and look horrible (for the 5th game in a row), is unacceptable. Steve Stone would not have "forgiven" the team and would have been very honest about how a champion wins in this sport. I, as a fan, do not accept the "just stay above the waterline" mentality and if that's what we're getting in the booth; a booth that was created by the current management after the previous booth criticized the team openly during the Dusty Baker regime, then I have to believe that this thought process has infected every person that is in charge of running my club.
Jim Hendry can sit there and make moves and talk about everything he's done to put a winner on the field and to be fair, he's done a TON, in fact, a lot more than I thought he was going to do, but when the rest of the organization is happy with "just getting by", then it's time to roto-root the pipes and change the thought process.
Mark Cuban, even if it means you have to over-pay for this franchise, PLEASE DO IT! For all of the things that people hate Mark about, (his mouth, his brashness, his finger in the face of the old guarde) he is one thing when it comes to sports, he's someone who cares and bleeds the team colors. We can only hope that this is where it ends up as the Tribune and the Wrigley's before them have watered down and milked the fans for long enough.
I made a reference to Zambrano and I'll only give him this one paragraph. Carlos, you said that the fans only care about themselves. 40,460 per game are not there for their health, they are there because there's actually a glimmer of post season play again. Post season play that you've had a part in bringing. You lamented all off-season about how the club wouldn't give you a sweetheart deal. You have it now. Don't be like every other top contract player and now relax cuz you're set for life. I know you apologized yesterday, but seriously, we all know that the club made you do it to protect their image. If you truly want to apologize, you'll learn to keep your emotions in check, pay attention to your coaches and get back to the form that had you roll off 14 wins after a rocky start. Bring us a win, bring us to the post season, and get us to a World Series and all of this crap quiets down and goes away. You have a lot of years ahead of you in a Cub uniform so keep that in mind the next time you want to shoot your mouth off. The people you see support Santo, Banks, Williams, Sandberg, Harry Caray, will keep you in their hearts for years if you just do your job and do it well.
That's a long paragraph telling a millionaire how to act. For now, I'll sign off. It's going to be an interesting month.