With pitchers and catchers finally reporting to spring training, it marks the start of the 2008 season where anything is can happen. It is a season where even the Tampa Bay Rays can contend for fourth place. It is a season where the impossible turns into the possible. Just listen to Ryan Dempster of the Chicago Cubs make a bold prediction, “I think we are going to win the World Series. I really do.” Great, just what a Cubs fans need to hear, another prediction.
After the 2003 season, expectations skyrocketed. Not only was Chicago in a world of imagination of a World Series, but the whole nation was. In 2004, Sports Illustrated had Kerry Wood on their front cover stating “Hell is going to freeze over” and the Cubs will win the World Series. Then came Carlos Zambrano with his “I’m going to win the Cy Young Award and we will win World Series,” scheme. None of these predictions have worked and it only gives their fans false hope. What else do us Cubs fans have? Lou Pinella says he plans on having a meeting with the team when they all report on not to carry the load of 100 years of futility on their backs. Come on Lou, you they will. Do you know how much attention the Cubs will get during the season especially as the season winds down when everything counts? Do you think it will be in everybodys mind when your in the playoffs and the cry for this crisis to end is in need? Oh, and what if you are in the World Series, trust me, it will be in the players minds.
I just do not understand how such a lovable franchise and a wealthy franchise not make it to the promise land. It makes no sense at all. The Chicago Cubs are the team that has the longest droughts in winning it all. Thats every team in every sport from MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLS. That is just ridiculous. Some blame it on the ownership on not spending enough money for better players and when they did, it was used and abused players. Some say it was the horrible trades the Cubs made which usually they give away their top prospects for what they believe is the golden prize. After they traded future Hall of famer Lou Brock and Cy Young winner Greg Maddux, it showed to the fans that their owners just don't care.
Just think about the number of 100. That is a big number, especially when it refers to the amount of years. If the Cubs do not win the World Series this year, it will mark the 100th year they have not won it. No one would have predicted this would happen to this team after winning back to back World Series in 1907 and 1908. Lets turn the clock back to what was happening during that time. It was the time where Hery Ford created the first automobile the Model T, William Taft became president and the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow was born. Not even Maslow can help solve the emotional distraught the fans feel today.
It is just insane that the last time the Cubs won the pennant was in 1945. They have not even come close to smelling the roses. 100 years is a big thing. It is almost like the Y2K scare where mankind was suppose to be doomed. So why does Dempster give the fans false hope? Maybe he is tired of the steroids talk and wanted people to focus on other things. If that is the case, I applaud Dempster for that. Otherwise, can someone please give me a glove to slap him out of his stupidity. Dempster says his team has gotten better than last year, and does not see any other team better them his. Thats hard to swallow Demp. All I got to say is look at any division besides yours, and there are bunch of teams this team can not compete with. Look at how the Cubs got embarassed by Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS last year. It showed which division was far superior even with the lack of hitting Diamondbacks had. All I got to say is the New York Mets are out for blood after their historic fall from grace with their new top gun Johan Santana. No way is any team going to march pass them.
While Dempster says the Cubs have improved, I do not really see anything different. They went out and signed ex-Cub Jon Lieber whose arm is about to fall out to solidfy their rotation. All I see is they get older and worse. The Cubs do not have a three or fifth starter, mainly because Marquis does not know how to finish out strong. The Cubs should have commited some money for another starter, like Bedard, instead of wasting it on garbage. The only strong point I see in their pitching is their relief that has all the ingredients a manager can ask for. With Eyre and Howry, it is a dynamic dual. With Carlos Marmol as the setup man, it should be no problem to give the ball to Kerry Wood. Even though it is his first year as a closer, Wood should be in a comforable position.
Look at our starting lineup we have Soriano, Derosa, Lee, Ramirez, Fukudome, Theriot, Pie, and Soto. This should be a lineup that should click on all cylinders. It should be a different lineup than last year because in here we have more speed and more contact hitters. Only problem is what will happen to Pie. He seemed uncomforable everytime he stepped up to bat last year. He seemed intimidated by every pitch that came by him. Sure he can hit with the kids, but these are the big boys now. He is the most piviotal part of this lineup for it to work. The one problem Cubs hitters had last year was hitting runners in scoring position. They were just horrible in doing so. They did not go out and find that spark plug to help drive these runs in when it counted the most. Sure the Cubs have a younger team on the field, but this will hurt them when they make their final push to the playoffs.
I am a huge Cubs fan and why am I predicting the Cubs will not go to the World Series is easy: its their destiny. It is not meant to be. Millions want to see them win it, while millions want to see the number 100 flash in their newspapers. It is just hard to believe that the Cubs will only win it because it marks the last time they won the World Series. It is not going to happen. The baseball Gods have not been nice to this team because the Billy Goat is still alive up there smiling at every step we get closer and then we see ourselves falling back down. I hope they win it. I wish they would win it, but they are not going to. I bet the baseball Gods will go so far in having us reach the World Series, and we are one out away, one strike away from winning it all, and when the pitcher finally throws the pitch, the whole world explodes so no one will ever see the Cubs win the World Series.
I just get so mad when I see my grandmother, who is 78 and she has not seen the Cubs win it all. I just want the Cubs to win so she can see it before she dies. I think we would all die in disbelief once they win it all. But what do we do if they do win it all? Wait till 100 more years for the next? I'll be waiting.
Keywords: 100 years, 1908, 1945, 2008 baseball, Abraham Maslow, Arizona Diamondbacks, Bedard, Billy Goat, Carlos Marmol, Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Cubs in World Series, Curses, Derosa, Eyre, Franchise, Fukudome, Henry Ford, Howry, Johan Santana, Jon Lieber, Kerry Wood, Lee, Lou Pinella, Marquis, Model T, New York Mets, NLDS, Pennant, Pie, Playoffs, Ramirez, Ryan Dempster, Soriano, Soto, Sports Illustrated, Steroids, Tampa Bay Rays, Theriot, William Taft, World Series