And other platitudes that don't actually mean anything.
Last night I was relaxing with the wife, watching an old rerun of Parenthood, when my brother Facebooked me a question: are you watching the game? It's actually good. I had to think for a second about what he could've been writing about, and then I remembered... meaningful baseball gets played in October. With the Cubs, it's easy to forget that sometimes.
Sure enough, he was right. The Giants look to do the National League proud, for the second time in three years, as they continue to punch the Tigers in their prodigious guts.
Then, my brother began asking me other questions. Like what are the Cubs going to do this off season. What tools do they have to acquire talent from other teams. Who are they going to look toward in the weak free agent market. Maybe I'm not the person to ask anymore. A lot has changed in the near-10-years that I've been blogging. The Cubs got bad. Then they got Lou, got good, and got bad again. Then they got rid of Jim Hendry, then they got Theo, but they haven't gotten good again yet.
But more telling, they did something I would've thought to be impossible - they gutted my passion for baseball. This is the one thing Jim Hendry was able to do effectively - he took a rabid sports base, and, in a desperate bid to hold onto a job he should have lost five years before his contract terminated, he sold us on a promise that he couldn't possibly keep. He doubled down on expensive, aging players. He gave them more money than they were asking for and the luxury of no-trade clauses, making them harder to get rid of. He made moves which defied common sense, and his players squandered the two year window that Hendry's scorched earth policy bought them.
Still, a Cub fan is a fan for life. I'm older now - turning 33 next week. Since I started blogging I've finished two degrees, changed countries, worked horrible jobs, gotten amazing jobs, moved out of basements, bought houses (well, a house) and I've also begun a career that will occupy about 90% of my time for the rest of my working life. That doesn't leave a lot of time for blogs or baseball. Yet, like the ex girlfriend twice scorned, I still think about the Cubs every single day, and, even at the risk of sacrificing sleep to do it, I want to blog about them more.
After all, this team has done something very impressive. They've seen that Hendry salted the team at ground level, and they've managed to find the one guy who might be able to work the proverbial field. A lot is riding both on Theo Epstein knowing what he's doing and maintaining the competitive attitude that got him two champion rings in Bean Town. Maybe I'm just a much lamer Michael Corleone - I thought I was out, and they're pulling me bac k in.
In any case, on Tuesday I'll be looking at the free agents available -- some of whom might actually be useful to the Cubs in 2013! ...maybe. Possibly.