Although you won't read this until ... well, whenever you read this, I am writing this entry as the Cubs are taking a shellacking at the firm-but-supple hands of the Houston Astros. The good news is, it's hardly terminal - Jeff Russell is clearly not a long-term solution as a starting pitcher. He should be quickly deprived of his Cubs uniform as he flies commercial on his way back to Iowa.
At the same time, the 5-6 Cubs are hardly doing anything to convince us that they are serious about winning. They are already over-dramatic, under-supported, and perhaps too high-strung to survive a long summer under the scrutiny of the angriest fans on earth.
Or maybe it's only been 11 games. I dunno, I think the whole "they're doomed" approach makes for better reading.
Here's what we know after about two weeks of baseball.
1. The Cubs are enjoying a three-way battle for second place. Their main competition is a Pirates team that would be happy to end the year with 80 wins and a Brewers team that probably lacks the necessary depth to stay competitive all year long.
2. The team currently "running away" with the division are the Reds, a team blessed with immensely talented young pitching but cursed with the managerial bumblings of Dusty "D-Bag" Baker. Hey - if Cincy can stay healthy all year long, they are assuredly the team to beat, even if their predominant leadoff hitter, Drew Stubbs, is a center fielder with a career .327 OBP who struck out 168 times last year. Oh - speaking of the Reds, their #2 hitter is a second baseman, Brandon Phillips, who has a career OBP of .318. You gotta love Dusty Baker, sticking to the classics, batting a center fielder leadoff and a second baseman second. Classic.
3. I want a taco.
So - should we panic if the Cubs are a middling, meandering team with neither punch nor prominence? Nah. But any day now Rob is going to post his annual Disgusted By This Team article, and he's not going to be wrong to do so. But even disgusting teams can surprise us.