GameCast: June 29th at Pittsburgh
What a crazy day it's been. It's probably never a good thing when a sports blog's biggest news is the strife on the blog -- rather than on the team the blog covers -- although I suppose I'd rather there be dissent here than on the Cubs.
Still, we've learned today that we shouldn't care about whether or not rival fans are homophobic -- and the act of caring may make us homophobic to boot -- and that people are incredibly, unbelievably sensitive on both sides when it comes to voicing opinions that aren't necessarily popular (and opinions on either side could fall into that category, so don't assume I'm talking about one or the other).
I have learned, meanwhile, that it is impossible to satisfy everybody -- and to try doing so leaves nobody at all feeling any kind of satisfaction. So, I guess I'm going to go back to only trying to satisfy meself.
Not the Cubs. Sorry, should I sugar-coat it? Should I pretend that before the 2007 season I never wanted Jim Hendry fired for a laundry list of reasons, which he only was able to avoid by finally opening the check book and signing some top tier talent? Should I pretend to have never felt that Hendry was forced to compensate for his complete and undeniable inability to grow talent by throwing oodles of money at players who are now under-performing en masse -- players he now has zero chance of moving even if he sees a way to improve his team? Should I also pretend that I was alone in wanting the Cubs to have a change back before two winning -- but ultimately futile -- seasons were purchased?
That doesn't mean I have given up on the 2009 season, on the contrary I really haven't. But I have given up on having expectations. Maybe the Cubs will pull it together -- they should certainly be capable of doing so, but we all may agree that inertia is a bitch -- or maybe they won't. I don't think this blog is doing a disservice by suggesting that the possibility that they won't is indeed a possibility. And it's a possibility that's growing stronger each and every day.
In the past, this blog -- along with all the other cool blogs -- would have sneered at the Pollyellons of the world, forecasting sunshine on even a cloudy day, but it seems that even some of our own writers get very, very ANGRY when we say things like "this team isn't performing up to expectations" and "maybe somebody should be held accountable, like Lou Piniella or Jim Hendry."
This morning I wrote a big section about who's to blame. Without blaming any one person, I did point out that everybody could be blamed. From Milton Bradley and his fragile ego to Lou Piniella and his questionable management, from any hitter who's underperforming to any pitcher who's failed to get a big out, this mess does not fall on the shoulders of just one person. But why is it too much to ask that maybe somebody man up and take some kind of responsibility for things? Rather than get mad at me for asking that question, answer it instead. I'd appreciate that.
Anyway, I have always -- always* -- said that baseball is very much a What Have You Done For Me Lately sport. The mastermind who built your team's World Championship squad five years ago should not be guaranteed a job for life, especially if said team is lounging about in the basement on mom's computer. I refuse to kiss Lou Piniella's ass from now until the day he gracefully retires because he gave me the first back-to-back division title Cub teams of my lifetime. Getting mad at me for being consistent -- and you can go back and read through everything I have ever written, my philosophy of baseball has not suddenly changed -- is pointless and wrong.
So here's what I'm going to do. I am going to blog about the Cubs. When they lose a tough game, just like Harry Caray in the booth, or like Steve Stone, I am not going to pull my punches about how upset I feel. When they win big -- or even little -- I'm not going to rain on everybody's parade.
I will try like hell to have fun while doing it. If the season progresses and the Cubs continue to tank, you can bet your ass that the fun I have will be directed at them. The balls-busting photoshops are on their way.
But I will not give up on the 2009 season until my two previously-mentioned conditions are met. For those with short memories, they are as follows: 10 games below .500, or 10 games out of a playoff spot.
If you have a problem with me busting balls or being truthful about the frustrating moments then this is the time to voice your displeasure. Otherwise I can only assume that you're in it with us for the long haul. Sound fair?
So, yeah. That's tonight's GameCast. Fun, wowee, I hope you enjoyed it my friends.