Last year we compared this point in the season to what point we were at in the movie "Star Wars". This year we're trying a slightly different tack...
This is one of my favorite Grateful Dead songs. Jerry almost always played it second in the opening set, usually after some lackluster Bob song like "Hell in a Bucket" or "Feels like a Stranger" ( To be fair I always liked "Greatest Story ever told" as an opener…). This one was no exception. I always like second songs in sets. Openers come with such huge expectations, is accompanied with the drama of the house lights going down, with people rushing into the theater/ stadium to their seats, it's hard not to get caught up in it all…..Thus the opener is almost always great. But the second song was usually a true barometer of what kind of show you had on your hands.
It was the last night of what would be the band's last run at Alpine Valley- the summer mecca place for them to play. The Grateful Dead crowd was in the middle of switching from diehards and regulars to a whole new wave of newbies and hipsters. The last night was played in the rain and the woman in her designer ripped jeans and her backward baseball hart wearing boyfriend were complaining about everything….. The weather. Their seats. That they haven't played "Uncle Johns Band" yet….. Finally a dude next to us turned to them and said "Folks, we've got three more hours of show left. You have to chill out!" (That's the clean version anyway). They did, Jerry went nuts on his guitar and we all settled in for one last marvelous show...
And that's where we're at with the Cubs this year. We're in April folks. And yet people are in full throat about Jose Veras. Jose Veras doesn't have any of the baggage that Carlos Marmol did when he started walking opponents left and right. And yet he's treated every bit as harshly. Castro was considered a bum after he went 1 for his first three games, now he's considered "Back". There were cries for My Colt to play 1B against left handed pitchers because Anthony Rizzo got dominated by Francisco Liriano. How's that looking?
But you let it go. Because it's the opening week. And everyone is excited to have baseball back. And we haven't got that football-overanalyze every single play of every single game- style of watching sports entirely out of our system. But now we're settling in for the long haul. Time to let stories "develop" instead of force our own. Time to enjoy the weather as it warms up. Time to chill out.
It's why I get so thin skinned about every Jeff Samardzija start ending with trade talk. Chill out. Unfortunately most of this meatball attitude is being driven by sports media with their own agenda. Look it's not like I'm not prepared for Shark to be traded. Sadly, I think he will be. But he'll be traded in July. And I know in July we'll have Samardzija trade rumors coming out of our ears. And I guarantee you'll be tired of hearing them. So knowing that, you want to ruin our April, May and June too? Let him pitch. Let some of these future Cubs develop every fifth day with a dominant starter for a while. Enjoy a 7 inning shutout performance for the athletic achievement that it is not what it might bring on paper in a few months. Let the season breathe.
We're at the second song of a 2 1/2 - 3 hour show. We're going to be here awhile.
PINCH HITS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
So happy the NHL regular season is over. It truly is/was time to say goodbye to some bad hockey teams. As for the playoffs, the Blackhawks can go out in the first round or go to the Cup final. The West is that odd. I thought the Sharks were going to be a team to watch but Niemi has really faltered. Maybe the Kings. Maybe the Hawks.
So what exactly is the plan to get top of the line pitching on the Cubs? Not gonna sign it in Free Agency right?….To expensive…..Not gonna draft it in the first round where the difference makers are usually drafted……too risky. Instead….we're gonna hope that sme team panics and gives it to the Cubs….using last year's Garza trade as an example. ( And which most GM's will probably learn from and be gun shy.)
I know we can't do this….but what the hey. If the Cubs had a rotation of Samardzija, Cashner, Garza and Feldman, would they be contending? Don't get me wrong, I love the Garza trade, and I love the Feldman trade, And I like Rizzo too. But that's good pitching out the door. And the plan for replacing it is………what?
Speaking of NHL, saw a wonderful Elliot Friedman piece on Dominic Moore and his wife Katie. We so rarely see athletes humanized. this piece does that and then some. Very emotional.
Saw a great Manny Pacquiao fight last night. What surgeon. Footwork, countermoves. You forget what a beautiful sport Boxing can be….
So Blake Parker is on his way up and Rusin is back down? Which means Villanueva stays a starter right? Well here's hoping he builds up his arm. Nothing more annoying knowing you're gonna need 4 innings from the pen. Pens are overworked and unpredictable as it is.