The Anarchist's Brunch-2/24. The health of the haters.

The Anarchist's Brunch-2/24. The health of the haters.

Good morning.

The most recent mountain to be made out of a mole hill of news happened this week when the Chicago Cubs announced that they were going to modernize the music at Wrigley field. And also that they want to get more "Cub Fan" celebrities to sing the 7th inning stretch and less people who are simply there to promote themselves. People went nuts. Now was the time to complain about the 7th inning stretch. Now was the time to talk about Wrigley Field being in the dark ages. Now was the time to ring the more than tired phrases like " this is SO Cub" and "Maybe the Cubs should concentrate on other aspects of their organization... Like winning."

Here's the thing.

You really didn't hear any of this outrage from actual Cub fans.

Pitchers and catchers reported last week. Positional players arrived soon after. And the Haters arrived right after them. And like 85 % of the players, say it with me now, THEY ARRIVED IN THE BEST SHAPE OF THEIR LIFE.
Cubbie hate is everywhere. On sports talk radio. On Twitter and other sports talk radio. And from a press corps that all too often follows a predictable cliche narrative rather than, oh I don't know, doing their job.

Jorge Soler hit a home run in the first Cubs intra-squad game of the year. And Cub fans got excited. Most Cub fans probably hadn't seen Jorge Soler play, so when video appeared of him taking Nick Struck about 430 feet to left, Cub fans were naturally giddy. They had heared of the Cubs pursuit of this guy for months, he was signed to a long, lucrative deal and proof that this was a wise investment was treated with rightful optimism.

But no sooner than the breath was gone from our collective "ahhs" that sarcasm started to hit. "How long before they're calling Soler the savior? har har har.", "Get your Soler Power t-shirts now..." "People, do I need to remind you that he was hitting against Cub pitching."

And on it went.

Brent Lillibridge is already being groomed as "a Campana replacement" because he's small, white, and tries hard. It's incredibly unfair. Never mind that he was praised for those things on the other side of town. But now it's because he's cute and cuddly.

And then there's this thing with the music. That's a lot of Cub heckling for the first week of Spring training.

( lemme offer in-game programming director Jim Boikowitch some free advice: Believe in the power of the non-press release. The Blackhawks this year got rid of their talentless, annoying house rock band. Didn't announce it. Just did it. Perhaps it was a lockout thing. Who cares. It was welcomed with open arms. Imagine if May 1 rolled around and the word around Cub circles was: Anyone notice the music's gotten better?...Somehting to think about going forward.)

I was following two fellow Cub fans have a discussion on Twitter. They're both much more accomplished than I am. They're much more analytical. In short, they're much smarter than I am. They were trying to come up with a reasonable-yet possible slash line for Starlin Castro. They came up with a line of .325/370/500 with 206 hits, 20 HR's, 35 2b and 8 3b's. He admitted that might be a tad bullish but ended with "Man, that would be fun to watch." And I just smiled at the thought that was possible. Might have been my favorite thought all week. I really though of re-tweeting or trying to join the conversation. I didn't, because I knew it create some tweets about me drinking the kool-aid.

I've given up on the Score ever providing fair, enjoyable Cub coverage. There's supposedly another sports radio station but being owned by the booyah's, their narrative was formed about 8 years ago, except somehow they'll manage to blame some of it on Jay Cutler. The only saving grace ( other than our great blog) should be the community of other Cub fans. But Twitter is awash with even more sarcastic unfunny garbage than the regular media. ( Someone is going to have to explain the success of Cubs Facebook to me because it's not humor...)

This will probably always be a sore spot with me. I love being a Cub fan. And part of what I love about being a Cub fan is being optimistic, and being happy. And way too often, WAY too often we let non-Cub fans and even fellow Cub fans interpret that optimism as delusional. And I get way too much grief for nothing more than rooting for my team and having a good time. Isn't that why we're all Cub fans? Why do we let so many people chide us for that?


I'm setting the over and under on number of Cubs to start at 3rd base this year at 5. And I'm taking the over.

My dream of having Brett Jackson hit .465 for the spring and making Jed and Theo make decisions they didn't want to make is off to a pretty good start.

It is the first game of spring,  and we should note that certain things won't be kept up all year.

Brett Jackson had 2 triples. He can't keep that pace up all year.

Cub pitchers only allowed 1 walk. They're not going to keep that up all year.

The White Sox drew 7000 people to their first spring training game. They're not going to keep that up all year...

I'm gonna battle Arguello over who's more bullish about Trey McNutt making the Cubs bullpen.

Speaking of battles, Paul Sullivan will probably retain his title as least funny, least relevant Cubs beat writer on Twitter. But ESPN's Jesse Rogers is having a really strong spring.

Magical Mystery Tour is today's Beatles album.

I can't tell you how much I enjoy the Joe Sheehan newsletter. If you like baseball, and really smart, analytical writing, it's the easiest $20 you'll ever spend. ( he has $4 trial runs for a month.) Every time one pops up in my Inbox, I immediately figure out when I'm gonna carve out the time to read it.

One more triple Brett. you know, since you're making it look so easy...






Filed under: Uncategorized


Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    Instead of going for a more modern sound or a modern scoreboard ,I'd like to have it go back in time...Have guys dressed like 40's vendors and have music that is from ballparks from yester year.I dont wanna hear AC/DC at the ballpark,I wanna here music that enhances the feel of a truly great historic ballpark.

  • In reply to freeagent24:

    This is why all of Cubs nation will never be happy. People want to preserve the stadium, preserve the history, etc. Others want the modern amenities that allow for a comfortable gaming experience, and might just bring in the free agents that might put the team over the top eventually. It's extremely difficult to do both, and people are going to grumble even if the Ricketts clan does move forward with this $300 million renovation project.

  • I have to agree with you 100% on media coverage, Felz. It makes me glad that I don't actually live in Chicago (or even Illinois, for that matter) where I would be bombarded with the negativity.

    This is the time of year where I selfishly wish that John could post an update every hour because I can't get enough of good Cubs information. I long ago gave up on the Tribune for any decent content, and I've found that the only places I go to are Cubs Den and Carrie Muskat, who is paid to spin things positively for the team. I must be getting old, because I stay about as far away from Twitter as I possibly can.

    Funny, Magical Mystery Tour is the only Beatles album that I never bought for myself. I've been feeling Abbey Road a lot more lately, because it has more of a George Harrison influence, I guess.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Im with you on the media coverage. I saw on twitter where a lady asked Jesse Rogers who was starting yesterday. He said 'I included that in my blog that I posted yesterday...wouldn't it have been easier to tell her the name? These guys are pompous megalomaniacs who know they have the best job in the world, yet they have to distance themselves with their smarmy "better than you" attitudes. That's why I feel so at home here in the den. We all have a common love for the cubs, and John is the quintessential pro.

  • In reply to copinblue:

    Thanks copinblue!

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Thanks Sinister! Wish I could write every hour :) It's a good thing we have great commenters to keep the dialogue going.

  • To hell with the haters. They'll always be there. I really do think the hate emanates primarily from jealously. Jealous they don't have the passion and love for the most lovable team playing in the most lovable ballpark in the coolest neighborhood to ever host a ballpark -- just to name a few reason. So for decades now I have always felt very very lucky to be a Cubs fan.

    And I can't wait for opening day! Go Cubs!

    BTW, if any of you love Led Zeppelin, you've got to go see the amazing Zep tribute band "Led Zeppelin 2" at House of Blues. Saw them last month and again last night. Actually got goosebumps on No Quarter.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    It's funny, I saw a Led Zeppelin tribute band called Zoso at the House Of Blues in New Orleans a few years back, and they also did an amazing rendition of my favorite No Quarter.

  • Love me some Zeppelin. Saw Page and Plant when they toured in '94. Made me wish Gonzo was alive. Not that they weren't great to see live. Just wish I saw the most talented member of the band.

    I shouldn't let the Anti-Cub thing affect me as much as it should. And when the games start, and eventually when they're winning, a lot of it will go away. This stuff didn't really happen in 2007-2008. But life can't be lived in a bubble. Cub world should be able to live wit real world without all this silliness. And I have no problem tilting a windmill at people who mock me for what I believe is a good thing.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to felzz:

    In two or three years from now when the Cubs are consistently winning and getting into the playoffs, it will be amazing how many Cubs fans will just "show up." The nation will all proclaim to be Cubs fans from way back when.....

  • In reply to felzz:

    I saw LZ a couple of times. The first time they were outstanding and the second time they were terrible.

  • I agree Fels. It seems you can't be optimistic without becoming a caricature of some rosy-eyed romantic Cubs fan who doesn't know the game. Not sure why it has to go to extremes, why can't fans be optimistic but still realistic about the Cubs chances? In the end, we watch this game for fun - and what fun is it if you have made up your mind that they're going to be awful?

    Anyway, I am bullish on McNutt. I think he finds the strike zone with much more consistency this year and his stuff will play up because of it. Making the team might be a long shot, but I'm going to say he puts on a Chicago Cubs uniform before the year is over.

  • I've always been a big Chicago sports talk radio with an hour commute & a Boers & Bernstein listener, but lately it's been really crappy & B&B seems to have gone the way of making their show about berating callers.

    MMT probablyone of my least favorites of the Beatles albums, but for some strange reason Ive always loved "Flying". I think it's because Ive always dug that George Harrison guitar lick in the beginning.

  • fb_avatar

    Felzzy, OUT-F'ing Standing Soldier, and I mean the whole article.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Thanks Brutha....

  • One reason I like coming to this site is because the optimism is pretty strong here and it's a nice change of pace. As for the music, I can't bring myself to sing "Go Cubs Go" in public or private.

    A feeling of sheer gay runs up my spine and I would be very welcome to a new change of music for 2013 and beyond! :)

  • I can't bring myself to sing "Go Cubs Go" either. I wish we had a better song.

    That being said, I don't have a problem with everyone singing it when the Cubs win. They want to have a good time, who am I to say no.

    I've always wanted better music. I've always wanted to replace "take me out to the Ballgame" with "Ophelia" by the band. At least make "Ophelia" our "sweet Caroline" song. Gotta get Cub fan Lin Brehmer on this... he could get this done.

  • In reply to felzz:

    "Go Cubs Go" is the ringtone on my iphone.

  • In reply to felzz:


  • I have been a Cubs fan for a number of years, but 2008 kind of took my heart. It was hard to keep the faith for a while after getting swept by LA without so much as a whimper. But the day that I saw that Ricketts hired Epstein, I had another class of blue kool aid. It is has been hard for me to go an entire day without checking up on the Cubs. During that time, the best thing that happened to me was to stumble across the Cubs Den site. My adult son (a life long Cubs fan) now tells his friends that are Cubs fans that they should talk to his dad so that I can tell them how excited that they should be about the Cubs. Of course, what I actually tell them is a little of what John has taught me and that they should read Cubs Den if they really want to be a complete Cubs fan.

  • In reply to les561:

    Totally had the same trajectory Les. After 2008, I felt battered and bruised and I just couldn't get up the energy to care that much... there was a Cubs-sized hole in my heart until Theo/Ricketts have come and breathed some new life in the organization. Now, even though their record might not be great, I am so excited to see the commitment to a winning philosophy and really teaching prospects how to play ball rather than just rely on physical tools alone. My heart is whole again and hopefully soon will be brimming over with joy...

  • Felzz, I feel with ya about the ignorant naysayers. And I agree with Nondorf that it stems from jealousy, from people who can't connect with joy.

    We have better things to do than to get bogged down in someone else's negativity.

    The best revenge on the bozos is simply ignoring them. And being happy with who we are.

  • I am 62 years old. I remember my first ballgame at Wrigley. I am from out of State. Way out of State! But in Montana we get WGN, and most people here who are baseball fans are Cubs fans. But I can't say that the average Montanan, or Idahoan, or Kansan, or true mid-westerner would enjoy a game at Wrigley very much. When I was a kid, the stands were filled with families. You didn't see guys standing up, "showing-off" buying a beer; "hey look at me, I'm buying a beer!" Sit down, I want to watch THE game, not yours! The level of rudeness, profanity, and chatter has taken the games at Wrigley to a level most of us can't relate too. It is a social experience, not a sports experience. And the fans know less about the game than they did before.

    Right now I think St. Louis fans are more civil. I think Kansas City and Minneapolis fans are more civil. Strangely, I have never been to a Seattle game but I imagine it is comparable. Texas? Well, it is similar but not as bad as Wrigley.

    When I go to a game, I want to watch the game. I want to analyze every pitch and every play. And now that seems easier in minor league baseball. And what promotes the rudeness? I think some of the sports broadcasters on Chicago radio. They like to create controversy. And as far as Boers and Bernstein are concerned. I don't think they are half as smart or half as funny as they think they are.

  • I'm 51 and I can't adequately describe the joys of the 84, 03, 07 and 08 seasons. I also cannot adequately describe the pain and agony of the playoff loses in each of those years. But I know it is that pain and agony that will make winning so amazingly, heartbreakingly joyous when IT FINALLY HAPPENS.

    That's when when they raised that Cup Banner at the UC, I thought of all those great teams and Blackhawks players I watched since 1971 who just couldn't breakthrough and I started balling like a baby. True tears of joy.

    Now maybe this makes this makes me one of those loser mentality Cibs fans but all I really want is for the Cubs to still be playing meaningful games in Septemebr. And hopefully if they can do that consistently -- as Theo says is the goal -- one day I will exoerience joy even greater than what i enjoyed on June 9, 2010 and opening night the next season.

    For now we have legitimate reasons for hope fueled in part by the fine work of John and my fellow Cubs Den readers. And I couldn't careless about the music or who sings or anyone in the world who is not lucky enough to love the Chicago Cubs.

    Many dreams come true
    And some have silver linings
    I live for my dream
    And a . . . World Series win!

  • Jesse Rogers was a travesty when covering the Hawks and based on his first chat on ESPN, I'd wager that his track record will continue. He's got a bit of Sullivan in him in how often he likes to dismiss (often legit) points. This past chat he told one guy who had dared suggest that Baez had been more highly ranked than Soler that he needed to "trust" Rogers that Soler was better than Baez and never once considered position or Baez' other worldly bat speed. I don't care that Rogers has Soler ranked more highly... what bothers me was the arrogance of thinking that he was certain about who is better after having been the Cubs beat writer for all of... what? A couple of weeks? He hasn't built up the credibility yet to challenge other writer's rankings and say blithely that we should dismiss them and trust him. Just rubbed me the wrong way.

    Thank god for Cubs Den. For John. Tom. Marcel. Felzzz. And the rest of you posters for keeping me informed, hopeful... and rational.

  • The Tribune site is how I found Cubs Den, and for that I thank it. That's all I thank it for. I really don't think Sullivan wants the Cubs to win. JMO.

Leave a comment