Is there any baseball fan who deep down inside doesn’t have a soft spot for the Chicago Cubs? Seriously, how much bad luck and silly nonsense can one franchise endure over the course of a…umm…century?
Unfortunately for the bleacher creatures at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, it doesn’t look like that luck is going to change in 2013, but the silly nonsense seems to be rolling right along. The team that has been come to be known as “The Lovable Losers” won’t be shaking that moniker anytime soon it seems.
In my tour of baseball stadiums across the country, I don’t think I found any fans that were more accommodating and friendly than the good folks at Wrigley. It was quite surprising actually. I would have thought that such long-suffering fans would be at the point of snapping at the mere thought of an opposing fan entering their domain.
But instead, the fans in Chicago welcomed my friend and I (dressed in full Atlanta Braves garb), shook our hands and bought us a round of…beverages.
It only solidified my belief that the Cubs should be a team that every baseball fan pulls for, even if only silently. They should be happy to see the Cubs do well, and wish for the best for that poor team in each and every game.
The truth is that Cubs’ GM Theo Epstein may have bitten off more than he can chew when it comes to turning this franchise around. Das Wunderkind doesn’t have the deep pockets, resources or luck on his side that he had when turning the Boston Red Sox into a championship team. Dale Sveum is just another water bird in a long line of lame duck managers that the Cubs have had, and last year’s 101-loss season could very well be repeated again.
The moves that the Cubs are making look almost hapless, like a chess player who knows he’s outmatched, but continues to shuffle his pawns around the board in the hopes that a miracle could happen. No matter what the Cubs do, they just can’t seem to nail the timing of the right manager with the right players at the same time that other teams have the wrong ones.
The Cubs are traditionally one of the most beloved franchises in all of baseball, and Wrigley Field is a delightful place to take in an afternoon ballgame (although I will say night games in early May are a bit on the chilly side). They have great fans, great attendance, and a rich tradition within MLB. Baseball needs the Cubs to be a better team.
I’m pulling for you, Cubs fans, with every ounce of my being that isn’t devoted to my Braves. I’d love to see the ghosts that have haunted the outfield ivy at Wrigley be exorcised once and for all. Outside of seeing Atlanta raise another World Series trophy, I think I’d enjoy seeing the Cubs piling on each other at the pitcher’s mound in November the most.
Just wait ’till next year! (Oh..is it too early for that yet?)