Paul Sullivan compares the Cubs to an expansion team, and he is right

What if the Cubs didn't exist before this year, and an expansion draft was held to stock us?  We would end up with a lot of has-beens and might-not-ever-be's, like Alfonso Soriano, Blake DeWitt, David DeJesus, Marlon Byrd, Ian Stewart, Jeff Baker, Joe Mather, Chris Volstad, Paul Maholm, Ryan Dempster, Shawn Camp...Sully was right, this morning.  He noted the Cubs are NOT a young team, by any means, but they are not an old team, like the Phillies and Yankees.  In fact, except for middle infielders Castro and Barney, the Cubs are mostly guys 27-32, coming off of bad years.  We have some untried guys in the bullpen, and our two expensive guys are two of our old guys, also. 

A true rebuilding team, and I can only guess at this and refer to versions of other clubs, would be mostly guys under 25.  Theo Epstein does not use the word "rebuilding", and some writers are chiding him for being 'afraid' of that word; afraid of using it around the 'long suffering, patient' Cub fans.  Dumb.  We don't care if you rebuild, as long as it is done right.  But this isn't rebuilding.  What this looks like is the modern day version of the 1969 Montreal Expos.  Good enough to stay in most games; bad enough to lose most games.

Earlier this spring, I was enthralled by the on-base hustle.  Extra bases being taken, situational hitting being executed.  Usually, at least in our experience, the team seems to forget how to do any of that once they come north, and play out in the cold.  In our best years, that resulted in "a dormant offense that warmed with the weather".  In other years, it led to "all-around anemic offense", contributor to more losses than wins.  This year, if this team forgets to run and hit according to situation, it will result in historic, expansion-era levels of misery.

It is one thing to ask for our patience, as if we had a choice.  We have no choice, so we must be patient.  I just hope that while we wait, patiently, that the Cubs at least take chances, hustle, and continue to run and sacrifice.  It may not make any difference whatsoever in the long run, but it will make the wait somewhat more bearable.   Opening day has arrived, people.  In a way, it is a lot like the first day of a new franchise.  You just hope to not get embarrassed.

BTW: doesn't it appear that Tony Campana is on the team, after all?  Perhaps Blake DeWitt has absolutely no grounds on Earth to be pissed off, but at the same time, I can see it if he were.

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  • I figured the Cubs would win 77 or so games this year but like you said if they don't do those little things and the bullpen isn't at least decent it could be ugly. I bought the Milb tv package this year and watching the Iowa Cubs after Thursdays unfortunate mess helped to salve the wound some. There should be at least some trades and a call up or two to help.

  • I know many readers like myself enjoy your thoughts, yet never leave a comment. Rob and the rest at GROTA, keep up the fine work.

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