I have said it before: losing sucks. It is doubly hard when your team isn’t at least entertaining.
Right now, that describes the Chicago Cubs on most nights.
I wrote recently that the early 80’s Cubs teams I loved were bad, yet still had some entertainment value due to their ability to put up some offense, namely with power. If you must be bad, at least be fun to watch.
This year it has gotten marginally better offensively with the apparent rebounds from core players Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, and the arrival of Mike Olt. It would still be a stretch to call the Cubs entertaining to watch.
The team on the other side of town, however, is becoming a more compelling watch. My friend Matt Spiegel wrote about it; they are a fun watch. It kinda hurts for me to type that.
I don’t want to spend too much time comparing the different ways the two organizations have gone about getting younger. I don’t want to watch the White Sox. It pains me to admit I have even the littlest bit of envy.
Their GM, Rick Hahn, was once a strong candidate for the Cubs job at one time. It seems, at least up until now, he has done a real nice job at restocking the cupboard with some young and fun talent. Hahn added a leadoff man in Adam Eaton who brings energy, and Jose Abreu’s power and his remarkable start is the talk of baseball. Imagine if promising young outfielder Avisal Garcia had not been lost for the season.
Just last season the White Sox offense was brutal. A short time later the offense is now explosive. The Sox lead the American League in runs, hits, doubles and OPS. They are on pace to score 800 runs. Good times. It is still April though, will it continue? Probably not. Yet, there is no denying the excitement they are bringing to the park, if still not fans.
“We’re evolving,’’ executive vice president Ken Williams said. “We believe we have a very good, exciting, talented core coming through.”
Hard to argue that.
Daryl Van Schouwen just wrote how Hahn turned the roster over with an eye on contending in 2015 or ’16 while not closing the door on 2014. Hmm. That is an interesting concept. Around Wrigley, the Cubs have flushed the last 3 seasons down the toilet. Hopefully, tanking will still pay off much like it did for the Washington Nationals. However, nothing is promised, even if there is a large segment of people on Twitter who will argue otherwise.
I do firmly believe in Theo Epstein and his front office. They do know what they are doing, this plan will work out eventually. Right? When Javy Baez and Kris Bryant arrive, I hope and anticipate the fun will return to the old ballpark and my TV. We will be talking about the North Side Hitmen, right?
For now, I just wish this Cubs thing was a little more enjoyable to watch at times. My daughter Alexa was born on July 28, 2009. I watched the Cubs game in the hospital room the night she was delivered. Alfonso Soriano got a walk-off hit in extras to put the Cubs back in first place. I was relieved she was born into a world where the Cubs were winners.
But that was the last time in her lifetime I could say that. It was the last time I can remember watching a Cubs game that truly mattered and that I truly had fun watching.
If we had to be bad for this long, why couldn’t we at least be fun bad?
I’ll try and not to peek over at the other game, or be too jealous.
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