Although a native east-coaster, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the Chicago Cubs. Maybe it’s because my cousin played for them for a short while. Maybe it’s because when I lived in the Chicago area for about a year, if I mentioned another team my life was threatened. Maybe it’s because I feel the pain of Cubs fans. I mean, I’m a New York Mets fan, I get what it’s like to lose season after season.
But this year is exceptionally bad for the Cubbies faithful.
With tonight’s 3-0 loss against the Houston Astros, the Cubs have reached the 100 loss plateau; A feat that has not been seen by the franchise since 1966 when they went 59-103 (a record they also had just four years prior to that in 1962 to that as well). Since they already have their 60th win, at least we know it won’t get that bad.
Since 1999, the Cubs have had 6 seasons with 90 or more losses, including last year with 91 losses.
With the Astros being even worse (54-106) than the Cubs, it’s between these two teams for the last place position in all of the major hitting categories. The Cubs are 15th in the league in BA (.240), 16th and last in the league with a .302 on base percentage, 15th in the league in hits, and 14th in the league for runs (the Miami Marlins took the next to last spot in this category).
So they don’t hit, don’t get on base, and don’t score runs. It’s that simple.
It’s amazing that Alfonso Soriano put up 108 RBIs, mostly because it’s shocking that there would be anyone on base for him when he stepped up to the plate. Well, just about a third of the RBIs are himself since he hit also 32 home runs.
The crazy thing is that the fans still come out to support these lovable losers. The Cubs were top ten in average attendance this year. Also, in the top ten of overall average attendance with just under 36,000 per game, the Cubs are actually tied for 6th in all of the MLB for percentage (Wrigley holds significantly less than the newer stadiums, but it is relatively fuller than most of the other teams’ ballparks.).
And that doesn’t include the buildings across the street which have rooftop seating, but isn’t factored in to Wrigley’s capacity.
I guess the pressure to better your team isn’t necessarily felt, when it seems that fans will come out to support the team no matter what. Cubs fans, if you don’t want another generation to go by without a World Series Championship, maybe you should give Theo Espstein a sign.
Like 40,000 empty seats.
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