Tuesdays With Fels The Younger - YOU Stay Rational!

Hello all. Sorry I’ve been gone from the brunch the past couple weeks. My laptop Allison (yes, all my devices have names. The laptop is named after the lead singer of The Kills/Dead Weather) needed to go under emergency surgery, and then last Sunday I was returning from a brief trip out of town. But I haven’t forgotten about you. Oh, have I not forgotten about you.

It has not been the best showcase for Cubs fans this past week, has it? The problem with everyone having a voice through Twitter or the interwebs is that we have to listen to it all. The Cubs getting swept by the worst team in baseball certainly sent some over the edge, and then others over the opposite edge telling those others who had fallen over the first edge how stupid they were being for falling over the edge. None of this is going to be helped by the Cubs backing up that sweep at the hands of the Phillies with perhaps their craziest win of the year last night. Which came only a week after the craziest win of the season up until last night, the Schwarber Game. Needless to say, the pyrotechnics on this season have officially been set off the past week.

I’ll grant that it’s hard to remain rational when everything is swinging so violently from one end of the spectrum to the other. The Cubs had the Schwarber Game, then split a double-header after coming back from five down, then watched Motte-Soriano Immolation I, then got no-hit, and then last night’s win after Motte-Soriano Immolation II. There’s hardly been a pause in the middle, much less a rest. While I think everyone should take a breath, I’m not going to get mad at anyone who finds themselves gasping for air right now.

And it’s easy to say that we all should have known this is how it would go with a team this young and this incomplete before the season. Yeah, it’s easy to say that, but here’s the thing: We’ve never done this before. I know I’ve said that before, but we haven’t. The Cubs, at least in my lifetime and from what I can figure a long time before it, have never done the total rebuild thing. They’ve never built a team almost completely from the ground up, and filled a roster out with four kids at the moment under 25. And one of them is the team’s unquestioned leader! And they’re might be more if Baez and Carl Edwards Jr. make late season appearances. Sure, we’ve seen other teams do it, but until it’s actually your team you can’t know the volatility of such a thing this intimately. We are getting to know it now, aren’t we?

When the Cubs got to nine games over the two times they’ve done it, while I was obviously excited there was an air of confusion along with it. “Is this how it goes? Are they better than teams like this normally are? Who do we compare them to? Is there a crash coming? Have they avoided it? I DON’T KNOW!” And I think a lot of others were just as confused while wanting to be jubilant. It’s like we’re all walking through a darkened house we’ve never been in before but we’re sure there’s a fridge full of beer somewhere in here… all the while just hoping it might turn into the Playboy Mansion if we hang around long enough.

Look, certainly there is a large swath of Cubs fans who are just idiots (but none of you, dear Cubs Den readers). You may know them by the time they were enraged when the Cubs traded Reed Johnson. That’s usually a dead giveaway. They may agree with the Sun-Times a lot. Whatever their markings, you know them. But as for the fanbase as a whole, maybe we need to give everyone just a bit more rope with all this. It is so new, and such a wild ride. It’s like being asked to waterski for the first time. We’re all holding on but man this water is a little choppier than we thought and do we really have the strength for this right now?

Tonight could bring another adventure. Or this weekend in Milwaukee where things are never on the straight and narrow. There will be a trade or two which is another element that will make this stew bubble.

While I don’t like to link back to the Hawks consistently, there is a pretty apt comparison between this Cubs team and the ’08-’09 Hawks who weren’t quite ready for primetime, and one an emailer made on The Score yesterday. In March of that season, the Hawks lost seven of eight games, threatening home ice in the first round. A lot of people, including me in my first year writing about them, went a bit loopy. it had been so long since the Hawks were good we didn’t know if this was them petering out or simply being bored by the regular season and just one of those blips. They closed that season 10-1-1 and won two rounds in the playoffs before being outclassed by Scum in the Conference Final, all with a team that was basically 25 and under everywhere. We know better now when the Hawks float through portions of the season, because we’ve done it before.

Once we get through this, it’s all smooth sailing from here on out, Josh Homme.



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  • fb_avatar

    Sam, it's like looking at the stock market. If it's down 200 points one day and down the next there are so many people freaking out--but just take a breath and look back a week or two, or wait a week or two and it's back to where it was. It's been years since the Cubs played any meaningful games during the season (I have to admit I was looking at the SF score last night) and we still have 70 games or so left.
    Let's relax and enjoy the ride.

  • This is going to sound strange but maybe we should be thankful the Cards are having such a good season. If all this was going on and we were 5-6 games back of the division? The cardiologists would be having as good a year as the Cards.

    Plus you give names to electronics so maybe it's not all the Cubs fault.

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    Yeah, but on the other hand, screw the Cards.

  • Well said. You can keep the beer. I'm in it for the grotto.

  • Sam, it is always a pleasure to read your stuff and I sure hope you can do more game recaps -- what else do you have to do between now and The Banner Raising? ; ) I appreciate your insights and humor and the two or three recaps you've done have evoked Adam's wit. No slight intend toward Gunther and NSI, but I really enjoyed Felzz's recaps and I can only imagine how fun they would be now that the Cubs have turned the corner. More, please!

    I have a few observations:

    1. I hope Joe won't allow even the remotest opportunity for "Motte-Soriano Immolation III -- nicely done, BTW. Rondon must be reinstalled as the closer.

    2. WTF? 14 pitchers?

    3. WTF? 3 catchers, still?

    4. Send down Teagarden and one of those pitchers and bring up Szczur and Lake. They've earned it and bring a spark.

    5. Not WTF territory, but I'd prefer to see Rizzo batting 2nd and Babe Schwarber 4th.

  • The fortunate thing is that some other team will be the worst team in baseball, and the Cubs will have to face them too. Sort of like it is bad luck to be the oldest human alive, because soon you aren't.

  • zobrist traded to the royals according to ken rosenthal

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    In reply to CubsHaveAChance:

    According to Jeff passan, 2 pitchers going back. Have to believe the Cubs were not seriously in on zobrist. Considering what the royals just gave the Reds, hard to believe they have much left the Cubs couldnt have at least matched. ( unless zimmer is involved )

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Manaea LHP is one

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Aaron Brooks the other ( should the Bulls be worried ? )

    In a little bit of a shocker, the A's are sending over 2 million to the small market Royals !!

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    That's a lot to give up, but Zobrist is the kind of bat that profiles well for post season play. Veteran, gap to gap hitter, switch hitter, and walks more then he strikes out. ( at least this season )

    Sean Manaea is prob better then any pitcher the Cubs have, but we probably have a comparable hitting prospects or combo of pitchers.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    isn't he their top pitching prospect?

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    In reply to CubsHaveAChance:

    If that's the case. Whose more stacked to win the pennant in the AL then the Royals.

    Talk about a team going for it. That is a real quality team, and will not sneak up on anyone anymore.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Considering the standings, I wouldn't think that the Royals need the influx, either. But they do have injuries.

  • I distinctly recall Maddon saying in Spring Training, "In July we'll lose 5 or 6 in a row and everyone will go nuts."

  • In reply to wastrel:

    I guess he was wrong then cause that isn't possible. ; )

  • I guess I'm at the point where I wonder what the cubs are doing? They seem to be on the sideline on deals and potential deals.

  • In reply to pricewriter:

    There are also the Tyson Ross rumors, but it has also been reported that there is a lot of competition for him.

  • In reply to pricewriter:

    Theo has said so a couple of times. He distinctly said that he was not giving away the farm for rental players, so the only question is whether there are players on the market with long term control. Brings up Cole Hamels, but the rumor mill is that other teams are offering Philly more.

  • In reply to jack:

    I know. But this is hard to watch.

  • I liked Zobrist, but as so did everyone else.

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    I love love love love QOTSA. And Josh Homme.

  • In reply to Luke Slabaugh:

    Whats up ? I love QOTSA as well..seen them live well over seven plus times or so.

  • In reply to Rbirby:

    ah nm missed the last lines of lyrics from the last album posted heh

    Looks like Josh will be w/ the Eagles of Death Metal at Chicago's Riot fest this year.

    BTW have an extra ticket going to waste tonight if anyone wants to go to the game. Send me a DM on twitter at @RBirby

  • Great stuff Sam. I also am in the camp that would like to hear from you more often.
    Rebuilds are fun, huh! Len Kasper was on The Score earlier and it was brought up that in the HISTORY of MLB, only 39 teams have had 4 rookies with over 300 AB's. From the early 1900's to an early 2000's Marlins team, 4 had winning records and none made the playoffs. One of the teams was the '78 Tigers, which may be the closet comp. IMO that included Trammel, Whitaker and Parrish. Schwarber would need to get over that 300 AB threshold, as Parrish barely did, to even put this team in there; but man, that is some rarified air. And is SO perfectly fitting for long suffering Cub fans experiencing the first fruits of the complete rebuild!
    For me? I always liked the roller coaster, the ferris wheel seemed so boring......

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